Is it possible to achieve a certain task? This is the first thing that comes into our mind when we begin with any new activity. It is not because we are not confident but we are new to it. When we think this from a business perspective every product to be developed is a new thing to the product owner and the entire team.
In a general scenario, a project manager will work towards understanding the requirement and make the team deliver. From an agile perspective, the product owner is the owner of the product. He will deal with the customer and hence he has to understand the technicalities of the product and educate the team to work accordingly. Therefore major responsibility lies in this person’s hand. The double possibility of completing the development of a specified product will always linger in the product owner’s mind. That is where the term called technical feasibility comes in picture.
We will elaborately discuss what it is, who owns it, what the factors that contribute to it are, and how to find the technical feasibility for a given product to be developed.
What is technical feasibility?
The technical possibility of developing a product per client expectation is called technical feasibility. It is a study carried out manually or using tools to understand the likelihood of completing a work based on the availability of materials, people, infrastructure, etc.
Whether the work is technically feasible? This means if it can be done from a technical point of view. There may be financial feasibility that will relate to the cash flow or funding allocated to complete the work. Likewise, operational feasibility deals with the larger picture including cost, people, and facilities available to complete a project.
On the other hand, technical feasibility considers only the technical chances of completing a given work. Say, for instance, there are enough funding, great technical equipment, sufficient time, ample human resources available. But, if the resources are not technically proficient, then the whole purpose gets defeated. Yes, people should know how to use technology in the development process to greater levels to ship the product to the customer.
What owns technical feasibility?
Every development team contains a set of people who work together to complete the work. In an agile team, there are developers, testers, product owners, and scrum master. These are the key people and based on the needs there may be other resources included like a UX designer etc. Now, we know that the developer and tester are the two resources who must be technically capable to work on the development.
But, the question is who will form this team? Who is responsible for delivery and who is the owner? The PO will front end and he will know the product requirement. This person will communicate with the team and prioritize backlogs. Therefore, this person should account for technical feasibility.
Along with the scrum master, the product owner will analyze the technical possibility of completing the work. They need to talk to the business for providing the right equipment, and people. The scrum master will understand people as he is the coach and the PO owns the product. Thus they both discuss finding the right people to develop the product per specification.
Factors contributing to the technical feasibility
Finding answers to the following questions will help decide on the technical feasibility of completing the allocated work.
- To know if the product development is feasible with the available technology in the organization.
- Is the company equipped and updated with the required technology?
- Are there technically sound resources available with flair to deliver?
- Is there room for adding more technical resources based on the company's financial situation? Technical resources include both people and equipment.
- If the client expectation is practically feasible based on the current market trend.
- Will the available technology help the team save time to complete work or is it a very high-end making team puzzled about using it.
- Is the customer willing to look at the result irrespective of the technology used? On the other hand, if they are rigid about particular things, then the owner must rethink to fit the bill. For example, if the client offers free hands to use any method to develop an app then the team can work with the available technology. But if the customer does micromanagement, then planning should be done accordingly. Thus the owner must evaluate such technical feasibility to handle any situation.
Making note of all the above questions the owner must find the technical feasibility for completing the work.
Steps involved in accessing the technical feasibility
Now that we explained the factors that contribute towards checking the feasibility, you must know how to access these factors. Follow these simple steps to find the likelihood of completing the work.
Talk to the customer in detail about the product. Ask many questions to know what the technical specifications for developing the product are. Make a detailed note of the same. Document the requirement and discuss with the customer.
Connect with the business to identify resources like infrastructure, technology (software and hardware), money, etc. This is the next step to ascertain whether this product can be developed based on the client requirement. Once you have the green signal from the top management make a plan and list the people to be involved in the work.
Talk to the team to understand their consent and competency in completing the work. Discuss all details including the time, work allocation, phases of work, product backlog, etc. Allow the team to share their views to confirm that it is technically possible to move forward.
Communicate to the client and start the work if everything is feasible. In case you need any support or changes, then reach out to the client or business and repeat the steps 1, 2, and 3 till your things become possible in all perspective.
From the above steps explained you will understand that the person who owns the technical feasibility study has a larger responsibility to bring things under control. Therefore it requires a lot of skills and training. We suggest you undergo Product Owner Certification. The learning objective of CSPO makes a mention that the PO must deliver a product that will delight the end users taking all the constraints in mind. Thus understanding the technical feasibility and converting the constraints to convenience lies in the hand of the PO. Training will help individuals to use their skills rightly for the success of the organization by delivering the best product to the customer.