July 2018
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TD Magazine

4 Practices for Getting SMEs to Meet Deadlines

Monday, July 2, 2018

How can you ensure everything you assign to subject matter experts gets done on time?


Make them feel like part of your team.


Take an inclusive approach by treating SMEs as project insiders. Explain how their work fits into the context of a learning program's strategy.


Tell them about your development process.

Inform SMEs about your tasks, milestones, and deadlines, which show how each team member's work fits into the greater project timeline.


Clarify their roles and goals.

Do you expect your SMEs to write, consult on content, or only review your work? All three are specific items that have different turnaround times, so communicate what you expect early.



Provide clear deadlines.

Don't leave any room for interpretation.

About the Author

Jason Sturges is a senior learning and development associate for Biofire Diagnostics. Previously, he worked as a project manager for instructional design and content development within ATD Education, where he worked with designers, subject matter experts, and facilitators to revise and update ATD’s robust professional development curriculum—as well as teamed up with the best in the field to bring new content to market. His research and outside consulting pursuits embrace the talent management and development, human resources and organizational design and development arenas.

Jason received his undergraduate degree in business/information resource management (2004), and his Master of Education in adult learning (2012)—both from Westminster College—where he also teaches as an adjunct professor for the school of education. Jason remains active and committed to the profession, as he is a national member of the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD) and served on the Utah Chapter’s Board of Directors from 2010 through 2014. More details and contact information is available at www.jasondsturges.com.

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