Feasibility studies are a powerful tool that can provide a variety of services to both project managers and owners. They’re great introductory projects for new project-based relationships, provide great training for new graduates, and identify any big budget or effort items owners should be prepared for.
Test Drive Your Client
A feasibility study gives firms an opportunity to showcase their management expertise and engineering creativity by offering high-level insights and solutions to owners. Think of it as a project-lite or test run of the working relationship with the owner. Managers can determine what the owner’s expectations are in regards to deliverable level, schedule, and reactions to changes in budget or schedule while owners are given the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of projects and of engineers. We’re admittedly a unique group of people to deal with.
It’s right there in the name; feasibility studies offer an opportunity to root out any project killers. Savvy project managers can identify these hurdles and alert owners before significant capital is wasted. These can be financial, physical, or legal boundaries that may alter the owner’s original vision for the project. Most would think the physical boundaries are the most common factors that kill projects, but they’re actually more often financial or legal; anything can be built anywhere given the proper time and effort. It’s knowing the major challenges up front and ensuring owners have the financial and legal means to overcome these challenges before the project design kicks off that decreases large change orders for design or construction. Sewers are built in low areas every day, but if an owner goes into the project without a pump station in the budget, some difficult conversations are going to be had.