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Topics: Risk Management, Scheduling, Scope Management
Project SME's Draft
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How do you select your project SME's?

Are we careless? Do we take what we get or do we revise if SME's are fit for our project, fit for our timeline, fit for our team building.

Difficult right? sometimes we just take what we get because there is no other option available. These are signs of initial risks.

In an ideal world, we should be able to have draft and should be able to select from a pool and should be able to look at other projects and exchange SME's according to expertise, timeline, location and other STRONG reasoning.
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Comments?
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Often we confuse experience for expertise. I'd much rather have a SME who is curious about the context of the project and probes deeply into the issues. I want an SME who looks for outliers, anomalies, and exceptions.
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1 reply by George Lewis
Sep 05, 2016 6:11 PM
George Lewis
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Greg - Can you expand a bit more?
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Sep 05, 2016 10:12 AM
Replying to Greg Githens
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Often we confuse experience for expertise. I'd much rather have a SME who is curious about the context of the project and probes deeply into the issues. I want an SME who looks for outliers, anomalies, and exceptions.
Greg - Can you expand a bit more?
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1 reply by Greg Githens
Sep 24, 2016 11:17 AM
Greg Githens
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1) Research contrasting novices and experts show that experts spend more time understanding the context and novices spend more time looking for the best way to do something. My own experience is that we are way too generous calling people experts. Most so-called experts tend to default to conventional problem-solving styles and are unable to recognize unconventional problem situations.
2) In design thinking and strategic thinking, your "fluid intelligence" (how you approach a problem) is more significant than you "crystallized intelligence" (the stuff that is in your memory).
3) Some so-called experts are only interested in avoiding risks and errors. I want people who can develop insights that can help us innovate. Insights come from identifying outliers, anomalies, and exceptions.
4) Many project managers treat experts as interchangeable commodities - warm bodies - and don't do enough to pull out the unique talents and contributions of others.
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Imagine you are the coach of a sports team, and you need to select the players for the next match, and you wish to have a dream team but in real life you know it is a "dream"!
So the first step is to identify what you need for the roles, including both hard and soft skills. Then search for the right profile to fit into those roles, bear in mind any possible limitations. In theory you can re-arrange the project time-plan to match the availability of the SME.
Sometimes the project scope may also be affected if you cannot get the certain SME.
So it depends on the particular project, but SME can potentially affect the whole project plan.
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1 reply by George Lewis
Sep 06, 2016 7:20 AM
George Lewis
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Dominic - Excellent input...

You understood my idea of the discussion, it is a real interesting topic...
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Sep 05, 2016 10:18 PM
Replying to Dominic Law
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Imagine you are the coach of a sports team, and you need to select the players for the next match, and you wish to have a dream team but in real life you know it is a "dream"!
So the first step is to identify what you need for the roles, including both hard and soft skills. Then search for the right profile to fit into those roles, bear in mind any possible limitations. In theory you can re-arrange the project time-plan to match the availability of the SME.
Sometimes the project scope may also be affected if you cannot get the certain SME.
So it depends on the particular project, but SME can potentially affect the whole project plan.
Dominic - Excellent input...

You understood my idea of the discussion, it is a real interesting topic...
Network:42



I agree with both Dominic and Greg...when putting together that 'dream team' that I hope to get, I not only consider what the project requirements will be, but also the interest level of my desired (or possible) SMEs. I've found that if I have someone who is passionate about the project, they can sometimes turn themselves into a SME during the course of the project, even if they were not one at the onset.
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I've had a combination... some I've taken because that's what was assigned (took what was given to me in other words) and others I've selected based on past performance and the reference of others. My preference is to do the selecting.
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I would do a combination and also it is project dependent. It has to be balance of experience and expertise....
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Depending on project team makeup - but the best SMEs have a deep vertical knowledge. Sometimes the SME may not be the best at translating that expertise into consumable bits of info to the customer/client. In that case, I would pair the SME with a another team member who is more familiar with disseminating and communicating.
Network:20



Before selecting the SME, we should consider the experience and knowledge levels of the SME. Hope the decision to choose the SME depends on the tenure with the organization as well as they will have good domain knowledge of the organization.
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