Monday, February 7, 2011
I am a SME
Recently I updated my entry in Linkedin, the professional/business connection website, kind of a Facebook for serious people. Linkedin cleverly asked me if I wanted to connect to everyone in my private address book who were also members, so I said yes. This has resulted in an amazing set of reconnections to people I had not been in touch with for years and I am actually having fun with that. However, when asked to update my profile, I realized that I had placed a job title at my company that had mysteriously been switched from Senior Technical Director to Subject Matter Expert, or SME. Of course, in the military environment and in the IT company where I work, the term SME is quite common. But I had never really looked into the meaning of the term beyond its obvious meaning if you break down the words.
So I did some online research and came up with the following defintiions of a SME, which I found interesting in more specifically indicating the situations in which a SME is used within an organization. I had not really thought of myself in this way. And the term SME is used more specifically in the IT world than in the military world. For the military, anyone who brings some specific knowledge to any job is a SME. In that case, I am a political and governance SME. More commonly, however, I am referred to at work as a political analyst and a governance theme manager. I should say that while I do think of myself as a political specialist, I consider myself more essentially to be a generalist as you would expect from someone who aspires to be a visionist. Plus, any form of social science expertise would certainly be less technical than expertise in engineering, IT, or the physical and natural sciences. But no matter. In the current world of work, in which terminology is changing, being a SME is not a bad profession as it is in synch with current information age changes that are transforming our world. So here is what a SME is according to various sources:
subject matter expert
someone particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic
Sales and Marketing Glossary
Specialty Expressions: subject-matter
An individual recognized by his or her peers as an authority on a specific topic. (references)
Webster’s Online Dictionaryexpert
Professional who has acquired knowledge and skills through study and practice over the years, in a particular field or subject, to the extent that his or her opinion may be helpful in fact finding, problem solving, or understanding of a situation.
Definitions of Subject matter expert on the Web:
• A subject matter expert (SME) is a person who is an expert in a particular area or topic. When spoken, sometimes the acronym "SME" is spelled out ("S-M-E") and other times voiced as a word ("smee").
• (or Data Expert): A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is the individual or unit responsible for advising on the appropriate use, protection, access, degree of sensitivity, criticality, and risk tolerance of a specific data set. ...
• Staff possessing special expertise in an ES&H program, for example, industrial hygiene, confined space entry, or lead abatement. Some SMEs may be outside of the ES&H Division, for example, hoisting and rigging SMEs reside within the Conventional and Experimental Facilities Department.
• The term subject matter expert, or SME, is used to refer to personnel who are used at different phases of the test development process because of their extensive knowledge of the content and competencies being assessed by the exam. ...
• An expert in a particular field who contributes or verifies the accuracy of specific information needed by the project team.
• An individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization.
Social Networking: The Subject Matter Expert
Posted by Gordon Plutsky on Fri, Nov 07, 2008 Are you a subject matter expert? A subject matter expert is the “go-to” person for their customers and social network contacts. These experts are seasoned professionals with references and a portfolio of proven success. Subject matter experts get the customers, win the bids and are answering the phone rather than cold calling
Interested in being an expert? Then begin thinking like one. An expert by definition is “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.” In other words if you can demonstrate that you know more than most and are recognized as a leader within a community you are an expert.
In the 1980’s it could take you years to establish yourself as an expert. With today’s social networking communities you can be recognized almost overnight. Let’s look at two communities and how to position you and your business as leaders.
LinkedIn is established to be a business networking community. You have the opportunity to ask questions, answer questions and participate in discussions. The more time you dedicate to positioning yourself the more you will differentiate yourself. Include links to your sites (blogs included) and where possible share your books or white papers on the subject. References also speak volumes. Anytime you can say “don’t take my word for it, read what my customers think” the more credible your opinions and suggestions become.
You can also join “like-minded” experts on LinkedIn. These are small groups inside of the larger community that often focus on a discipline (e.g. marketing, sales, recruiting, human resources, or accounting) or on a specific interest (e.g. events, public relations, consulting). Groups are reflected on your profile and allow people to see your affiliations and interests.
SME - Subject Matter Expert
By: Bruce Bahlmann
A person whose up to date experience and knowledge exceed that of the rest of the project team or organization. Frequently, the SME is an expert contracted or assigned by an organization to consult on a specific project or is a member of a Technology Advisory Board (TAB). SMEs know what is critical to the performance of the task and what is nice-to-know. SMEs typically have participated with standards bodies and/or have development or operations experience that dates back to the inception of their area of expertise that provides them with uncommon wisdom and patience.
Subject Matter Expert Job Description
By Alyssa Guzman, eHow Contributor
updated: May 25, 2010
A subject matter expert is the definitive source of knowledge in a specific subject area.
A subject matter expert (SME) is the definitive source of knowledge, technique, or expertise in a specific subject area, such as business management, information technology, software development, process engineering, plus others. The SME functions as the organizational ambassador for their knowledge area, and applies their expertise to support an organization's vision and strategic direction.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
1. A subject matter expert understands, articulates, and implements best practices related to their area of expertise. Depending on the work environment, the subject matter expert may lead or be an active participant of a work-group with the need for specialized knowledge. The subject matter expert provides guidance on how their area of capability can resolve an organizational need, and actively participates in all phases of the software development life cycle.
2. During software development assignments, the subject matter expert is responsible for defining business requirements and recommending a technical approach to meet those needs. He also generates design specifications for software development, which typically involves translating business requirements into detailed algorithms for coding. The SME oversees the development, testing, and implementation of the technical solution, and validates the final product satisfies the defined requirements. He reviews technical documentation, such as user guides, training manuals, and system specifications, prior to distribution to end-users, and ensures their subject area is accurately represented.
Business Relationship Management
3. A subject matter expert must cultivate and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including end-users, project managers, engineers, and senior staff members. The nature of the position involves actively participating in multiple work-groups at one time, and disseminating information across all levels of the organization. The subject matter expert is articulate and communicates information effectively to diverse audiences. She translates subject matter terminology into business terms, and recommends alternatives to both senior management and software developers. The SME also performs product demonstrations in a variety of settings, including internal meetings, training sessions, and trade shows.
4. Employers generally require candidates to have completed a bachelor's degree program; individuals with a bachelor's degree in business, or an MBA/advanced degree are preferred. In addition to certification(s) in the individual's area of expertise, Six Sigma Black Belt or Green Belt professional certifications are highly desired credentials. Individuals interested in pursuing the position of subject matter expert must have a minimum of ten years of directly related work experience in their area of expertise. Related knowledge and experience in business management, core system configuration, software development life cycle (SDLC), RICEF (Reports, Interface, Conversion, Enhancement & Forms) development, systems testing, and business process re-engineering are considered beneficial. Individuals who have worked in a global, highly matrixed business environment are especially effective in this position.
5. According to salary data from Glassdoor.com, the median expected salary for a subject matter expert in the United States is $77,560 as of 2010, while the average salary of jobs with related titles, including intelligence specialist, program manager, and systems/applications developer, ranges from $58,000 to $134,000. Factors such as employer, industry, experience and benefits can dramatically affect a subject matter expert's compensation.
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Read more: Subject Matter Expert Job Description | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6549153_subject-matter-expert-job-description.html#ixzz1DCTiZZOY
Subject Matter Expert - SME
The Subject Matter Expert is that individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization.
An SME might be a software engineer, a helpdesk support operative, an accounts manager, a scientific researcher: in short, anybody with in-depth knowledge of the subject you are attempting to document. You need to talk to SMEs in the research phase of a documentation project (to get your facts straight) and you need to involve them in the technical validation of your drafts (to make sure that your interpretation of information matches theirs).
Six Sigma Principles