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The Role of Functional Metrics in B2B E-Commerce Project Success

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Dive into the methods and techniques developed by eSell Inc. and learn how they pertain to the adaptation and adoption of functional metrics during their project-implementation processes.
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In the winter of 1999, how was a young high-tech Internet startup, with version 1.0 of a new B2B application software product, able to gain enough credibility in the marketplace to attract—and do business with—its targeted Fortune 1000 customers?

The answer was threefold. First of all, the business functionality delivered in version 1.0 had demonstrated demand in the marketplace (which is discussed in the next section). This at least opened the doors to interested parties. Second, the client's trust was won by leveraging impeccable early references created by using an implementation methodology worthy of corporations that were orders of magnitude larger. Last, eSell Inc.1 deployed only very senior and skilled professionals on all its implementations.

This paper describes the methods and techniques developed by eSell Inc., especially as they pertain to the adaptation and adoption of functional metrics in their project-implementation processes.

We start off with a brief description of how functional metrics have been incorporated into the typical project launch process, with an overview of the major benefits accrued. With success as a backdrop, we describe the atomic parts of the overall program:

  • Adaptation of the counting techniques

  • Creation of an Excel worksheet to support the counting and estimation process

  • A project repository used to calibrate the actual estimates of time, effort, and cost

  • The team-based process used to collect and verify project data

We then follow this discussion with examples of how functional metrics are used to support other aspects of the project, including:

  • Initial sale of the product and project

  • Project staffing

  • Project control

Last, we summarize our findings and experiences and pose a final question concerning the importance of key personnel in sustaining an effective metrics program.

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