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  • Leading Learning Solutions provider
  • Expertise in Web Based Product Training
  • Focus on Technology Vertical
  • Global clientele including Fortune 500 companies
  • ISO 9001 Certified

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Selecting the right SME

You have decided to take up e-learning for your product training and have selected a vendor to work with on the development. One of the more critical points of contact you will have with the vendor is your SME. “SMEs” or “Subject Matter Experts” are experts in a particular domain. Responsible for providing training content, approving course blue prints and the final courseware, they form a critical part of training course development.

To handle such a major responsibility, SMEs need to be appointed with utmost care. Following are some of the things to look for while selecting an SME.

Expertise – The SME you select must be an expert in the field you’re developing training content for. He/she should have best practice knowledge of facts and processes. For instance, if you were training your sales staff, you should look at your consistent top performer as an SME.

Experience – The SME should have vast knowledge of the domain through hands on experience. For example, if you were training your assembly line workers, an ideal SME would be someone who has worked on the assembly line for a considerable number of years, who can provide you the contextual information of what exactly happens on the line. Sometimes you can even look at “TLRs” or “Target Learner Representatives” for contextual information.

Availability – The SME should have the availability, required for the project to meet its deadlines. It is important that the SME understands the time commitment and the consequences of not abiding to them. An SME who is challenged on time will most definitely affect the quality of the course.

Interest – It is also important that the SME is interested in the e-learning project and does not see the project as an unnecessary addition to his full time role. Uninterested SMEs often become uncooperative in providing inputs.

Influence – The SME you select should have the authority and influence to make the content related decisions. SME s with such authority will help ease the course of the project and avoid unnecessary delays caused due to indecisions related to content.

You might need to select more than one SME to meet all of these requirements. It may be a good idea to have a team comprising of a technical SME, a TLR and someone with influence to get the best out of the project.

STAM has a decade's experience in helping global companies with their Web Based product training strategies and investments, please contact us for your product training requirements.
“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them”
– Werner Karl Heisenberg
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