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Chapter 3. The Executive Champion > The Role of the Executive Champion

The Role of the Executive Champion

The executive champion might be the most challenging role in the entire institutionalization effort. There will probably be no formal position and authority, and the organization may not have even begun the process of sensitization and assimilation. Yet the executive champion must gather resources, create a strategy, and keep the process moving. He or she has to manage points of contention and chart the course to full acceptance.

Without a champion, the usability staff often has a hard time being included as part of a cohesive strategic effort. The presence of a good executive champion is the best predictor of the success of a usability institutionalization effort because, without a usability champion, the usability group does not have access to key players in the organization. To be successful, the usability group has to effect change within the organization; without a champion at the executive level, this achievement is nearly impossible. With an executive champion, the group has a chance to create change and obtain the visibility needed to succeed.


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