Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are valuable partners in many training and performance improvement efforts. At times, it is a SME who is facilitating an online or in-person training session. Other times, you must collaborate with SMEs to transmit their knowledge and skills to others.
- They may be too busy to provide the help you need
- They may have difficulty explaining basic topics because they forget what it is like to be a novice (the curse of knowledge)
- They may have trouble verbalizing the wealth of tacit knowledge that makes up their expertise (see Strategies for Tacit Knowledge Transfer)
- They may insist on including more content than is necessary to reach the agreed upon performance goals
This book demonstrates another practical approach to optimizing the designer-SME relationship. Salvatore creates a framework of tasks to be managed and accomplished with SMEs during different phases of the ADDIE model. Readers can probably make this approach work with other instructional design models too.
Although the book covers topics like the traits of different SME personalities and ways to capture their knowledge, the main focus is on a methodology for achieving successful results. An added bonus are the templates included for documenting and managing the SME collaboration.