Step A Making your DIRKS project feasible
Your Step A analysis could reveal that the project you wish to undertake is larger than anticipated and that the initial project brief can not be fulfilled with existing resources. Alternatively, your Step A overview may show that there is much to do, and your planned project should be extended. Two methods you can use to limit or expand the extent of your project are:
- using risk management techniques, and
- undertaking feasibility assessments.
Risk management is a theme that runs through the DIRKS methodology. Its particular application in Step A relates to its value in focussing your analysis to those areas that pose a significant risk to your organisation.
For example, your preliminary investigation, intended as part of a major DIRKS project aiming to completely review how business is undertaken and documented in your organisation, may show that your focus is too broad in that it will require too many resources to complete. You can use risk assessment methodologies to identify the areas of your organisation that could pose a significant risk if poorly performed, and focus your reviewing efforts on these specific areas or functions. This can help either to scale back your assessment, but identifying what are business critical areas, or scale it up, by identifying the range of risks your organisation faces through poor recordkeeping practices.
More advice about risk management and risk assessment processes is provided in Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4360-1999, Risk Management.
Feasibility assessments involve determining the feasibility or viability of your intended project. They generally involve assessing your project to determine its:
- operational need
- financial value, and
- technical practicality
Using these criteria will help you to determine whether your project is a realistic and viable option for your organisation.
To determine whether the scope of your intended project is operationally feasible, you should look at:
- timetabling and scheduling issues to determine whether staff have time to commit to the project
- corporate culture to identify whether the changes you wish to make will be adopted and adhered to by the organisation
- management support for improved recordkeeping, to determine whether adequate resources will be made available to help you achieve all your planned outcomes, and
- potential improvements to the efficiency of current work / recordkeeping practices to determine whether improvements will be so significant that they will outweigh any other identified concerns.
To determine whether the scope of your intended project is financially feasible, you should look at:
- the cost of having staff members taken away from other work to participate in the project
- the cost of software purchase / upgrade that may result from the implementation of your planned changes
- costs of litigation which could potentially be avoided if your recommendations are implemented
- improvements in organisational efficiency that will potentially result from your system improvements, and
- potentially improved levels of compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements
To determine whether the scope of your intended project is technically feasible, you should look at:
- staff levels of technical expertise and whether all staff will be able to implement system changes you recommend, and
- availability of technical infrastructure for development and maintenance of new systems
A proposal may be regarded as feasible if it meets a number of these operational, financial and technical criteria.