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My life at work - the trials & tribulations!!

The SME syndrome

There are lots of people who'd fit into different categories based on daily interactions.
There is however, one section of the public known as SMEs (subject matter experts) which takes the cake.
The ladies and gentlemen belonging to this cadre, are the ones who raise the chances of me having a heart attack on the job.
Lets talk about them in alittle more detail here.

Criteria for becoming a SME.

  1. Extensive knowledge of MS Skills / Applications / systems.
  2. Lots of certifications.
  3. Attitude to answer all queries like Dilbert would - "no solution"
  4. Have parents / spouses / children with health complications, facilitating the exit of the individual from the project at a critical juncture, leaving you high'n'dry.
  5. Ability to work on deadlines - after they've swoooshed by.
  6. Ability to convert their attitude problem to your perception problem.
  7. Charge for items like specialist doctors would.
Why do we need a SME?
ILT (instructor led trainings) projects generally involve creating of educational content from Scratch. It would mean interaction between the Instructional designer and SME from the Author end along with the technologists and CDM (content dev mgr) from the MS pavilion.
Now, depending on the target audience and several other parameters, the course is structure to provide the optimal learning experience. ILTs are costly - to purchase and develop.
An SME helps by validating the Technical content, analyzing the Tech level and then getting the Labs and exercises in place. They're a vital to the course development - which is what they take advantage of. They have the highest level of tantrums, lowest level of accountability and have answers ready for all occassions.

Problems we have faced(are facing)
  1. Never give data on time.
  2. Leave midway on a project
  3. No concept of deadlines
  4. Technical incompetence
  5. Our project may not be top priority for them. Other issues take the front seat,eg: seminars, full time job etc

There are exceptions to this general rule - such as Sharan,one of our inhouse SMEs.
But then that guy is something else. He takes ownership on his projects, which most of the other nicompoops don't.

SOLUTIONS
  1. SME Manager - Jai is already there.
  2. Developing In house SME capability and a Centre of Excellence
  3. Tighter clauses in SME contracts - non performance results in Pay cuts.
  4. All Project SMEs to be interviewed by MS technologists prior to appointment on projects.
Lemme know if I've missed out on stuff. We can definitely add it here. maybe even a section with names and details of SMEs... who've driven us nuts
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