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Organizational Structure

Look for a consulting firm with the necessary staff to fit with your organization. If you are a small organization, it may not be difficult to manage all the usability work that is occurring simultaneously. If you are larger organization, your consultancy may also need to offer a business manager to handle the contractual relationships, an accounting contact to handle payment issues, and a separate legal person to handle nondisclosure and contractual issues. For large-scale efforts, you have to deal with more people than just the usability consultants.

There will always be a primary usability lead and perhaps some additional usability staff on the team. But it helps a lot to have an escalation channel separate from the usability lead. Having only the usability lead as a contact can make it embarrassing and challenging to communicate when difficulties arise in the consulting engagement, especially if the usability lead has created the problem!


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