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Setting and refining service objectives: A framework

Identifying performance and cost measures

Creating an effective Web service requires a significant investment of resources. It's easy to underestimate the costs and overstate the benefits because the technology is so attractive. Once you've investigated the capabilities that the Web provides, and decided that the technology can provide significant benefits to important stakeholders, the next question is "Is it worth it?" In this section, we present a framework for estimating these benefits and expected costs that will help you determine whether you should make the investment.

This exercise serves two purposes. First, it identifies expected costs and benefits that are ingredients in the investment decision. Second, it quantifies these predictions in the form of explicit expectations that will enable an assessment of whether the project has achieved its goals once implemented. Explicit qualitative and quantitative forecasts of costs and performance improvements will help ensure informed decisions about this technology as a form of service delivery.