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Making Studies Work – Organisation, Communication and Management


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Author P McCarthy


This paper is based on 30 years of involvement in feasibility studies as a participant, study manager and the leader of a firm that provides study components and overall study management. The following topics are discussed:

  • the purpose of feasibility studies
  • aligning the goals of the study team with those of the owner
  • the difference between optimisation and design
  • how the types and levels of studies affect the organisation of the study
  • the relative merits of various management structures and contractual arrangements
  • setting scopes of work and tendering the work out
  • the selection of a study manager and the study management team
  • communications within the study team and externally
  • the project management triangle
  • managing scope changes and maintaining flexibility to respond to study findings
  • progress payments
  • managing a study crisis
  • innovation, risk aversion and bankability
  • reporting the results
  • the dangers and benefits of value engineering.


McCarthy, P, 2016. Making studies work – organisation, communication and management, in Proceedings Project Evaluation 2016, pp 20–30 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).