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Topics: Resource Management
I need input from SMEs. Wait, where is the list?
Network:12171



What do you do when you need to collect input from Subject Matter Experts and then realise that this information is not readily available?

Who and how are the experts determined?
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The whole picture is the solution. Inside the solution is the process to create it which is the project. Before the project exists somebody started working to create a proposal and after that a business case. That was the business analyst. If there is a business analyst in place she/he has the list of SMEs indeed. When the project starts the list could be modified. But at the end, you can return to the basement. A project is started because a need to achieve organizational objectives. Somebody has assigned to deal with the initiative as Sponsor or the name the organization assign to it. Sponsor will give you. I wrote an article time ago that was published by the PMI and the IIBA as "best practice". Perhaps it helps you: https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...th-stakeholders
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Eduard -

There are usually two tipping points when it comes to locating SMEs which will influence the overall level of project risk.

The first is whether there are SMEs available in your and your sponsor's sphere of influence. The second is whether there are SMEs available outside of your organization.

If the answer to both of those questions is "no", then if you are facing tight scope, time & cost constraints, you could be looking a very complex project.

There are going to be two different sorts of SMEs you'll need to locate - business domain SMEs and solution domain SMEs. A shortfall in the first might mean that you produce the wrong project or that you have to reduce scope to avoid some critical risks. A shortfall in the second might mean that you take longer to produce the product, have some serious quality issues or might need to investigate an alternative solution approach.

Kiron
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The information may not be readily available, but are the SME's available? It sounds like from your post that you are having issues locating both. If the information is domain specific, there should be SME's available. If the information/technology is new, vague or complex, still the keywords should be able to assist you in finding SME's.
Network:12171



Thank you all for your answers, they provide clarity on the issue. It brings up the follow-up question whether an official list or register of SMEs should be available, as an organizational asset that the PM could use for some of the project initiation and planning processes.

The informal approach of asking the line manager about their SMEs could also be an option, but defining an official list could avoid confusion and conflicts within the organization or department and decrease the odds of project failure. Would you agree to that?
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jan 26, 2018 3:35 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
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In fact, if you have to ask to somebody ask the sponsor or the owner of the initiative.
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Eduard -

We did something similar at the Canadian bank I recently worked for. Given the volume of PM onboarding across the organization and the diverse and confusing number of control partners, my EPMO team created a simple checklist with questions a PM could ask themselves to help them determine who they needed to engage for a given project.

Kiron
Network:1834



Jan 26, 2018 11:16 AM
Replying to Eduard Hernandez
...
Thank you all for your answers, they provide clarity on the issue. It brings up the follow-up question whether an official list or register of SMEs should be available, as an organizational asset that the PM could use for some of the project initiation and planning processes.

The informal approach of asking the line manager about their SMEs could also be an option, but defining an official list could avoid confusion and conflicts within the organization or department and decrease the odds of project failure. Would you agree to that?
In fact, if you have to ask to somebody ask the sponsor or the owner of the initiative.
Network:505



agree with Sergio, Kiron.
Sponsor should have the list of SMEs.

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