Maximizing the Effectiveness of a Subject Matter Expert

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  • have enough work to do? What are the SME's qualifications, and how will those qualifications help the project implement or upgrade a new system? Does the SME possess outstanding performance appraisals?
  • Independence
    Is the SME under pressure to keep her team's legacy systems? Is she willing to provide valuable input and insight to help implement a system that can phase out the system that she currently supports?
  • Availability
    Is the SME available to attend workshops and meetings related to the design of a system? Will she be present for all necessary meetings during the analysis phase?
  • Authority
    Can the SME approve and sign off on a business requirement independently without consulting others, or does she need to get approval from her superiors or seek advice from other groups or teams?

The evaluation of these criteria factors will help the project identify the SME that will provide the most utility to the project. The SME plays a vital role in helping to test a software application whether the application is homegrown, COTS, ERP, or CRM. The suggested guidelines will help organizations to efficiently manage, task, and review the SME's work products and deliverables, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the SME.

User Comments

1 comment
Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten

Interesting! This sounds like an approach that can save a lot of wear and tear on everyone. Of course, sometimes a team member may identify a legitimate problem that the rest of the team doesn’t notice or understand, so the way that team member explains it to the others – and the tone of voice he/she uses in explaining it -- may have a bearing on whether the team accepts it as a problem. ~Naomi

March 5, 2013 - 6:46pm

About the author

Jose Fajardo's picture Jose Fajardo

Jose Fajardo (PMP, M.S., and SAP certified) has worked as a test manager for various companies utilizing automated testing tools. He has written and published numerous articles on testing SAP and authored the book titled Testing SAP R/3: A Manager's Step by Step Guide. Throughout his career Jose has helped to create testing standards and test plans, mentor junior programmers, audit testing results, implement automated testing strategies, and managed test teams. Jose can be contacted at josefajardo@hotmail.com.

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