Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. However, when you raise the issue with him, he will ask you questions that make you doubt; Do you wonder if this is really possible? To avoid such a situation, you can use the TELOS framework, which guides you through key aspects of feasibility study.
When an idea comes to your mind, the first step is to check and see if your idea is feasible. Do your managers and co-workers really want to know if your project has a commercial chance of success? Does it match the organization’s technology? And what effect does it have on current activities? So you have to make your idea feasible. A useful tool for this is the 5-step TELOS process. In this article, we will see how you can evaluate the success and sustainability of an idea or project with the help of TELOS.
About TELOS model
James A. James A. Hall designed the framework in his 2007 book Accounting Information Systems and explained how to use it in a feasibility study.
With this model, you can improve the design of your project and bring it closer to success. In addition, you can identify projects that have major flaws before you spend time and money on them.
TELOS are the initials of the 5 key areas you should consider as you study:
- Technological: technology dependent
- Economic: economic
- Legal: legal
- Organizational: organizational
- Scheduling: Scheduling
The TELOS framework is commonly used in project management to test the feasibility of an idea, but in general you can use it to test the idea of a project that has been suggested to you.
Follow the steps below to apply the TELOS framework to the proposed project:
1. Technology related items
The first step you need to take is to look at the technology issues that the proposed project needs and see how technology affects its success. Consider the following questions:
- Is what you want to do technically possible? (You may need to prepare a prototype or do a preliminary experiment to prove this.)
- Does your team have access to the technologies needed to make the project a success? If not, what can you do about it?
- Are decision makers, stakeholders and users confident in using these technologies and are they willing to use them?
- How much time and money is required to implement technologies related to project components?
For medium- and large-scale projects, it may be difficult to assess technology alone. In these cases, be sure to seek professional help so that nothing is missed.
2. Economic cases
Then, evaluate the project from an economic feasibility perspective and consider its potential costs and benefits.
- How is your project financed?
- Are decision makers likely to want to fund the project?
- How attractive is the project financially, especially compared to other projects that the company intends to implement?
- What kind of financial constraints can affect the project? For example, does the return on investment need to be considered a success for the project over a period of time?
Here again, it is the scale of the project that determines how much expert help you need. You may be able to calculate liquidity and net present value (NPVs) and internal rate of return (IRRs) yourself. But for bigger projects, it is better to get help from the company’s financial department.
3. Legal cases
Next, you need to think about the legal aspects of your offer. Consider the following questions:
- Does the idea you have violate the law in your country? Does this idea conflict with your organization’s policies?
- Does this idea violate contracts with other individuals or organizations (including contracts related to confidential matters)? Does this idea violate the intellectual property rights of any other organization?
- Are there laws in the country or organization that have not yet been passed but may prevent the project from succeeding?
4. Operational cases
The next step is to check how well your proposed project aligns with your team’s day-to-day activities in the organization.
- What new steps do you need to take to make the project a success?
- What kind of training (in addition to technology-based training) will help people?
- What do you need to change for long-term project support? For example, do you need to add new members to your team?
- What impact will this project have on projects in other parts of the company? (Do an impact analysis to answer this question.) Be sure to consult with all managers who are involved in or affected by these changes and project implementation to understand all the consequences of the project.
The McKinsey 7S Framework gives you a good starting point and helps you see the impact of change in your organization.
5. Scheduling items
Projects that take a long time to complete are usually not cost-effective and may no longer be useful when you have completed them, so it is important to have a realistic view of scheduling.
At this point, think about these questions:
- Can you deliver the project on time? (Read our article on Accurate Time Estimation to get tips for developing a realistic and accurate project schedule.)
- Does the project overlap with other projects in the same department or other parts of the organization in terms of timing? How can you deal with them?
- What are the key deadlines and how can you be sure that you will complete the various stages of the project on time?
Read our articles on risk analysis, Mollins 7-domain model, and impact analysis to learn about other frameworks you can use to evaluate your idea.
Your organization may have specialized frameworks for evaluating proposed projects. If so, be sure to consider them.