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Secrets to Successful SME Projects

By  Sarah Wakefield, Patty Murdock

TD at Work Cover

Subject matter experts (SMEs) play a valuable role in any learning program, but working with them is not always easy. In “Secrets to Successful SME Projects,” Sarah Wakefield and Patty Murdock explain how training developers can cultivate a productive relationship with their SMEs. 

This issue of TD at Work provides specific steps to follow before, during, and after the development of your learning program. The authors follow an instructional designer and a SME through the process, showing what each stage looks like and what the designer can do to ensure that the project runs smoothly. 

In this issue, you will find:

  • tips for choosing SMEs
  • a step-by-step plan for a kickoff meeting
  • advice on what to do when things go wrong
  • a risk mitigation chart
  • a discussion of prototyping versus detailed drafting
  • dos and don’ts for successful debriefs.



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Sarah Wakefield
Sarah Wakefield is the author of Technical Training Basics and Designing Engaging Software Training. Sarah is a Training Manager – Instructional Design as well as the Global Train the Trainer Facilitator for Schlumberger, a leading supplier of technology in the oil and gas industry. Sarah’s primary responsibilities at Schlumberger are tying organizational goals to performance improvement initiatives, leading a team of professional instructional designers, working to introduce Human Factors and Crew Resource Management to the field population and managing the certification of subject-matter-expert-turned-trainers worldwide.   

Previously, Sarah also was an instructor of communication, writing, and life success courses at Ivy Tech State College and at Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sarah holds a master's degree in communication from Purdue, as well as a bachelor's degree from Purdue with a double major in professional writing and psychology.
Patty Murdock
Patty Murdock is technical training manager of instructional and media design for Schlumberger Limited. She has co-authored and co-presented technical papers on training methods for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and conducted workshops for the Society for Technical Communication and the Association for Talent Development.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781562866952

Pages: 24

Pub Date: May 2017

Formats: Paperback, PDF

Product Code: 251705

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