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The Usable Consultant (27 Oct 2004)
Usable consultants generously share knowledge and information. They love what they do and can't resist talking about it. They're passionate evangelists of their areas of expertise. They freely explain their processes. They enthusiastically recommend helpful books and resources. They might offer seminars to equip your staff with needed skills. They get a kick out of educating others.

Watch out for: Consultants who hide details about their process and methodology.

Usable consultants don't boilerplate. We've all received project proposals written by Find-and-Replace, when your company name stood in for "[Insert company here]." They probably had lots of nifty graphics and beautiful formatting-but how did they make you feel? Usable consultants recognize that no company is like another. Each has unique characteristics and needs that a boilerplate proposal or process cannot address. This doesn't preclude reusing material by any means (one of the strengths of consultants is that they have developed effective methods), but it should always be tailored to your situation and needs.

Watch out for: Consultants with fancy PowerPoints and claims that their process has worked for dozens of companies.

Have I mentioned that usable consultants listen obsessively?
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