Remember: All SMEs Are On Autopilot*
On Twitter to me:
GC: I’ve run into SME’s that insist the manual and the manufacturer’s experts are wrong.
I’m unsure as to exactly which post this refers to – as many of those published recently are viable candidate for being the stimulus for this Tweet But I reply. And here is that short exchange…
GW: Those SMEs could be right abt other SMEs being wrong. Often IMO it’s about Context. Most things aren’t robust to all Contexts.
GW: Also: I differ between SMEs & Master Performers. But – MPs know their Context better and might be blind to issues & solutions.
GC: True, but which side do you take when a mistake could kill people? I don’t always trust that my SME’s are expert enough.
GW: I’d try to get them all together and facilitate them through the issue and any real or perceived conflict. Then test B4 use.
Communications is probably required. And most likely, facilitated communications. IMO.
SMEs Might Disagree For Many Reasons
Or just one of many reasons. As always – it depends.
They could disagree because:
- They are using different language to mean the same thing, but they don’t see that – yet
- They are using the same language to mean different things, but they don’t see that – yet
- They could be confused or ignorant of all of the stakeholders’ requirements and how to trade off any conflicts
- They could be thinking that some metrics are more important than others
- They could be thinking differently and specifically about how to approach and accomplish a large, complex Task-Set when many Task items might be arbitrary in their sequence
- It could be that some see issues with an approach that others refuse to see. And one group is right and another is wrong.
What to do?
As always – it depends.
Facilitate a Communications Exchange
But my short answer would be: to get all of the stakeholders and the SMEs and Master Performers (they are different) together (and F2F is always better) – and facilitate them via a planned process that would get at both the known issues – and the unknown issues.
Maybe it’s just a simple dialogue that is needed to clear the air.
Maybe it requires some Process Mapping and use of other visual tools to help bring clarity to the issue – before it can be solved.
As always – it depends.
It depends mostly on Communications IMO. Or Mis-communications. Which I’ve written about previously – here.
And the “semantics.” Always the semantics.
*All of your SMEs are on auto-pilot – as I’ve written about before – here.
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