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Training

During the initial phases of your institutionalization program, a series of training classes probably brought people up to speed and conveyed essential skills. This training was necessary, but for a competitive organization, training is never completely finished. There must be an ongoing training program, and the internal usability team should take charge of this effort. However, the team may not need to be responsible for all the training—in most organizations it doesn't make sense to maintain the more complex and less often used courseware, and there are not enough presentations of most usability training classes to keep the trainers fully occupied. Despite this reality, the central group must have responsibility for the training program as a whole.

Usability training should be a part of the orientation of new staff. Otherwise, the benefit of a user-centered perspective may be slowly diluted by new staff members who don't receive the usability orientation. In addition to the basic orientation, some new members need to learn specific skills to work on particular types of projects or particular usability activities. For example, you may need someone to specialize in wireless devices or usability testing. Over time, your ongoing skills training will probably need to cover the full range of usability engineering capabilities as new staff members appear.


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