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Chapter 5. Strategy > The Importance of Sequence - Pg. 39

Strategy 39 As you strategize about how to use external consultants along with internal staff, make sure the consulting firm is flexible about what kind and how much work its staff completes compared with your company's internal staff. For example, your organization may not have a lot of internal staff time to devote to developing interface design standards. In this instance, the internal staff should spend a limited amount of time working in the standard committee and reviewing documents in order to make the process efficient. The consulting firm should do the bulk of the standards development, but the internal staff should always make the final decisions (based on training and with the con- sultants' guidance). Another organization that requires more internal ownership may need to work differently with the consulting firm. For that group, one of the consulting firm's staff may need to be onsite within the organization. In this scenario, the consulting practitioner would not actually create the standard but would work as a coach and as a resource. This might take longer and may cost more, but for some organizations it is the right approach because they will internalize the standard, own it, and use it. The combination of consultant staff and internal staff needs to be part of your strategy and needs to fit within your culture. Consultant and Internal Group Mix By Todd Gross, Ph.D., Director--Corporate Statistics and Human Factors, Medtronic MiniMed At Medtronic MiniMed, we have used a mix of in-house and outside resources to complete our human factors projects. Outside consulting offers several benefits. Consultants can focus on our project exclusively, whereas in-house personnel often must juggle multiple projects. Consulting firms also often have greater resources and expertise to dedicate to a project. This allows them to complete the projects more quickly and with more pol- ished output than we might be able to do ourselves. Another benefit of outside consultants is that they bring a fresh perspective to the project. There is great value