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Artikel ini disiarkan di mySTARjobcom Articles At Work pada 23.03.2015

In this age of information, it is common to come across plenty of folk who are knowledgeable in their fields. With information being accessible from the tip of one’s finger, it is easy to perform a quick search and instantly be rewarded with answers, along with a sense of superiority in terms of knowledge.

However, nothing can replace the true nit and grit one learns from raw experience. This is where subject matter experts (SME) come into play.

An SME has proficiency in his or her subject and guides other professionals on the project to ensure the content is accurate. The proficiency generally comes from education and experience.

An SME is someone who communicates his knowledge of a topic to other professionals within an organisation or institution. They often act as consultants to bodies that need to produce educational courses or publish training material.

Someone in this position may also serve as a resource through the entire process of bringing a product to market, or may simply offer some preliminary information at the start of a new venture. He or she may also take a role in establishing the quality assurance measures.

They should bring real-world examples, best practices, and tricks of the trade that will positively impact your organisation. They should be the go-to resource who helps resolve complex issues. Most importantly, they should be able to hit the ground running once they understand your unique environment and work independently to deliver project tasks.

If a resource is truly a SME, their biggest value will be found in a few key areas:

1. Improved requirements definition

2. Matching project priorities to organisation best practices

3. Placing user needs at the centre of the design process to impact product delivery and product strategy.


So, how does one identify a true SME? Here are a few tips:


1. SMEs have a documented history of working in the area for which they are an expert.

2. SMEs have actually done the work. They’ve rolled up their sleeves throughout their career. Therefore, they not only understand your challenges, but the details within those challenges. They have specified requirements, written test scripts, supported data validation, documented business and conversion processes, and managed critical projects.

3. SMEs understand organisation best practices and can communicate those insights to help you improve your organisation model.

4. SMEs should have special, in-depth knowledge from both a knowledge and IT perspective that when shared with others, significantly enhances performance within the organisation.

5. SMEs understand user needs. When you design a product to meet a need, you’re addressing the problems, concerns, or desires of the people who will utilise it on a regular basis. SMEs know how to meld design to improve user performance.

6. SMEs lower project costs. SMEs deliver project tasks more quickly, more accurately, and more thoroughly than your typical organisation analyst. While they may bill at a higher rate, overall project costs are reduced.


Roles of an SME



SMEs should be at the centre of several core roles. Educational companies, particularly those offering vocational training, may benefit from working with SMEs.
Another significant role for SMEs is in the area of test development: they may work with psychometricians to develop professional licensing exams by making sure the appropriate subject matter is covered in the exam and that the answer key is correct.

Some SMEs are employees of the organisation they work for, and may have a specific role, such as an editor, in the organisation as well. They may also continue to work in their own field of expertise while offering freelance consulting services to various organisations and institutions.

For example, a real estate appraiser might run her own firm while offering SME services to a company that produces appraisal software. That same appraiser might also write and edit books in her field. In doing this, she not only expands her professional network, but she also continues to hone her professional skills and increase her knowledge, increasing her marketability as a consultant.

Subject Matter Expert teachers perform fluently, almost effortlessly floating through the complexities of teaching without much pause for contemplation, reflection, or deliberation unless something out of the ordinary spurs such mental effort. Since expert teachers rarely need to engage rationally, we could  consider them ‘a rational’, having honed their practical knowledge to such an extent that is does not demand the conscious, intentional, rationalized application of their integrated knowledge. Practical knowledge is fused with the teaching performance adeptly, without any fuss or furrowed brows.


“To be regarded as an expert, it goes without saying that you must first be very knowledgeable, skillful and competence in your field, but more importantly, you must be regarded by your peers as so.”

The contributor, Azizi Ahmad, currently serves the educational studies department of Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Bahasa Antarabangsa. To get in touch with Azizi, email editor@mystarjob.com

Source: 1. The importance of true subject matter experts mySTARjob dot com At Work Articles 23 Mar 2013
2.
The Importance of true subject matter experts (Google Drive)


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The original version


When an organization or an educational institution needs to create training and educational materials, a subject matter expert (SME) is an important part of the team. An SME has proficiency in his or her subject and guides other professionals on the project to ensure the content is accurate. The proficiency generally comes from education and experience. SMEs come from academic, technical, and vocational fields. They may work on different types of projects and have slightly different duties, but their role is essentially to ensure the facts and technical details are correct.

A subject matter expert is someone who communicates his knowledge of a topic to other professionals within an organization or institution. They often act as consultants to bodies that need to produce educational courses or publish training material. Someone in this position may also serve as a resource through the entire process of bringing a product to market, or may simply offer some preliminary information at the start of a new venture. He may also take a role in establishing the quality assurance measures.

Subject matter experts (SMEs) should have special, in-depth knowledge from both a knowledge and IT perspective that when shared with others, significantly enhances performance within the organization. They should bring real-world examples, best practices, and tricks of the trade that will positively impact your organization. They should be the go-to resource who helps resolve complex issues. Most importantly, they should be able to hit the ground running once they understand your unique environment and work independently to deliver project tasks.

If a resource is truly a SME, their biggest value will be found in a few key areas:

1. Improved requirements definition
2. Matching project priorities to organization best practices
3. Placing user needs at the center of the design process to impact product delivery and product strategy.

Technology and software companies often rely on subject matter experts to inform programmers and engineers of what a product needs to be able to do. They may also work with technical writers to ensure that product manuals are accurate and usable. Publishers, on the other hand, may rely on a subject matter expert to point them in the direction of good authors or to explain an up-and-coming area of interest. If the editors in a publishing company are not familiar with a particular subject, they can send a book to a such an expert for fact-checking.

Role
A variety of educational projects require a subject matter expert, including but not limited to training videos, manuals, courses, and assessments. In the case of developing a course or training, the SME will select the objectives and content, in addition to reviewing the final product to ensure editing did not change the content, but others on the team will determine the presentation of the information. Others working on the project may not have expertise or even knowledge of the subject area, but may be experts in instructional design and presentation. Technical accuracy is the primary goal of the SME.

SMEs may be used on educational publishing projects to check the accuracy of test questions. Depending on the requirements of the project, the SME may be responsible for writing the questions or just review after they are written by assessment writers.
So, how does one identify a true SME? Here are a few tips:

1. SMEs have a documented history of working in the area for which they are an expert.
2. SMEs have actually done the work. They’ve rolled up their sleeves throughout their career. Therefore, they not only understand your challenges, but the details within those challenges. They have  specified requirements, written test scripts, supported data validation, documented business and conversion processes, and managed critical projects.
3. SMEs understand organization best practices and can communicate those insights to help you improve your organization model.
4. SMEs understand user needs. When you design a product to meet a need, you’re addressing the problems, concerns, or desires of the people who will utilize it on a regular basis. SMEs know how to meld design to improve user performance.
5. SMEs lower project costs. SMEs deliver project tasks more quickly, more accurately, and more thoroughly than your typical Organization Analyst. While they may bill at a higher rate, overall project costs are reduced

Educational companies, particularly those offering vocational training, may also make considerable use of subject matter experts. Courses, both online and classroom, are often developed by editors and instructional designers who have little knowledge of the subjects being taught.  Someone who is an expert in a subject may be called to write the course material which is then broken down into a course. Another significant role for subject matter experts is in the area of test development: they may work with psychometricians to develop professional licensing exams by making sure the appropriate subject matter is covered in the exam and that the answer key is correct.

Some subject matter experts are employees of the organization they work for, and may have a specific role, such as an editor, in the organization as well. On the other hand, they may also continue to work in their own field of expertise while offering freelance consulting services to various organizations and institutions. For example, a real estate appraiser might run her own firm while offering subject matter expert services to a company that produces appraisal software. That same appraiser might also write and edit books in her field. In doing this, she not only expands her professional network, but she also continues to hone her professional skills and increase her knowledge, increasing her marketability as a consultant.

Subject Matter Expert teachers perform fluently, almost effortlessly floating through the complexities of teaching without much pause for contemplation, reflection, or deliberation unless something out of the ordinary spurs such mental effort. Since expert teachers rarely need to engage rationally, we could  consider them ‘a rational’, having honed their practical knowledge to such an extent that is does not demand the conscious, intentional, rationalized application of their integrated knowledge. Practical knowledge is fused with the teaching performance adeptly, without any fuss or furrowed brows.

“To be regarded as an expert, it goes without saying that you must first be very knowledgeable, skillful and competence in your field, but more importantly, you must be regarded by your peers as so.”

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