Team Roles For Building a Composable B2B eCommerce Online Store

Once you’ve taken the decision to build your new B2B web store using modern, composable eCommerce technology, you will need to consider your team structure to ensure that it is optimal.

I’ll assume here that you have delegated the technical build portion of the project to a software company like McKenna Consultants! Technical elements aside, it’s important to define the other team roles to ensure that the project runs smoothly.

These are typically the roles you will want to fill in-house:

  • Product Owner
  • Technical Specialists
  • Business Specialists
  • Stakeholders
  • Sponsor

Let’s take a look in more detail.

In-House Team Roles

The Product Owner

The Product Owner is the single person with the greatest ability to affect the outcome of the new web store. This person brings together the different disciplines of technology, business processes, eCommerce vision and management. We usually find that someone with some knowledge in each of these areas, along with the ability to bring people together to work towards a common goal, is highly effective.

The Product Owner is responsible for:

  • Being the voice of the customer
  • Deciding what features the eCommerce store will have
  • Selecting major technical components
  • Managing the internal stakeholders and sponsors
  • Organising assistance from internal technical and business specialists

Of these, the most surprising is the selection of major technical components. In reality we, as the developers, have a lot of influence over these decisions. We make strong recommendations, but as the financial impacts of these decisions can be significant (e.g. purchasing an eCommerce platform such as Elastic Path or a CPQ system such as Tacton), the final decision needs to rest with the Product Owner.

The Technical and Business Specialists

B2B eCommerce is complex. There are often multiple legal jurisdictions, business divisions and IT systems involved in creating the customer experience. Building the store requires work and input from in-house specialists in these areas.

For example, if you trade in the UK, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Far East, you are likely to have significant differences in trading practices. To translate those practices into a great online experience will require local business experts.

Similarly, your different vertical business units may have disparate computer systems. We most commonly see this in a variety of ERP systems around the globe for a single customer. Each ERP system will require assistance from the local technical team to help with the integration of orders, pricing, availability and other factors into the web store.

Stakeholders And the Sponsor

These people will mostly be hands-off, but interested in the work that is going on to create the new B2B eCommerce platform. Whilst some stakeholders will come and go throughout the build of the web store, some will be a permanent feature. Setting up a review for an hour every couple of weeks can go a very long way towards keeping these key people happy and involved in the development. Their sage advice could be crucial at any point!

If you would like to learn more about the different roles required to build a composable eCommerce online store, or if you would like to enlist McKenna Consultants’ help with successful software integration, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Nick McKenna
Since 2004, Nick McKenna, BSc, MBCS Biography has been the CEO of McKenna Consultants. McKenna Consultants is a bespoke software development based in North Yorkshire, specialising in Cloud development, mobile App development, progressive web App development, systems integration and the Internet of Things development. Nick also holds a First Class Degree in Computer Science (BSc) and wrote his first computer program at the age of nine, on a BBC Micro Model B computer. For the last 21 years, Nick has been a professional computer programmer and software architecture. Nick’s technical expertise includes; Net Core, C#, Microsoft Azure, Asp.Net, RESTful web services, eProcurement, Swift, iOS mobile development, Java, Android mobile development, C++, Internet Of Things and more. In addition, Nick is experienced in Agile coaching, training and consultancy, applying modern Agile management techniques to marketing and running McKenna Consultants, as well as the development of software for clients. Nick is a Certified Enterprise Coach (Scrum Alliance), SAFe Program Consultant (SAI), Certified LeSS Practitioner (LeSS) and Certified Scrum@Scale Practitioner. Outside the office, Nick is a professional scuba diver and he holds the rank of Black Belt 5th Dan in Karate.

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