$h!t my SME says – an archive post from colleague Trina Rimmer

SME/ID Anger (image credit: Microsoft Corporation)

How often do we do this when dealing with SMEs? Or vice-versa?  (image credit: Microsoft Corporation)

Yep, I’m certain there’s a book in there somewhere…

My PLN colleague, Trina Rimmer, was sharing a few tongue-in-cheek thoughts about SMEs today (through Twitter).  Granted, as she points out, there’s likely communications faults on both sides but I think we tend to view the “ID/SME” relationship with a reasonable amount of good gallows humour particularly after the fact.

I’ll share Trina’s post here, because it’s a good reminder of the challenges we all face in getting that “unconscious competence” out of the heads of our SMEs and into some semblance of usability for the ID as well as for the eventual consumers of all this knowledge. It’s also a good building block for lessons learned that all IDs and L&D folks can carry forward onto their next projects. The more we help set and manage some expectations, the greater the chance of lessening the overall “mystery” that seems to surround the work we do for organizations and institutions every day.



From my own viewpoint here in my workplace, the SME view is even more skewed because we are really a training organization, and almost everyone in a leadership position has had some kind of role in training. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t SME/ID conflicts, but they tend to take on a different flavour.  Because most of them have been active on the delivery side of the learning process, they sometimes have difficulty seeing the ID and content development activities as anything other than some kind of educational alchemy.  I suppose there’s a small element of truth there, because there’s lots of us that have turned some real crap lead-like source materials into learning gold. Having said that, it doesn’t excuse us from making sure our own houses are in order when working with the SMEs.


About Mark L. Sheppard

learning geek, lifelong learner, terminally curious, recovering blogger and Ed Tech explorer.

Posted on August 26, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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