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Chapter 3. The Executive Champion > Educating the Executives

Educating the Executives

Even though the executive champion needs to be the executive who is most familiar with usability, the champion's message is most easily heard and heeded if other key executives in the organization understand what usability is trying to accomplish. Few CEOs or senior executives are usability engineers by training or profession. Therefore, almost all executives must learn about the value of usability. This means understanding, very concretely, how usability insights impact company performance and position.

This process does not have to take a long time, but exposure to real-life examples is essential. Executives need to be able to interpret user-oriented metrics and understand that usability is neither easy nor just a matter of common sense. Executives must care about usability and see usability as a key business objective. Executive-level briefings and short courses designed specifically for management are helpful, as are periodic meetings with key executives to share the results of the first showcase projects and ongoing programs. The briefings should provide general concepts and examples from other organizations. It is also important to include more specific, concrete examples—presenting real cases from your organization, for example, is compelling.


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