From Chaos to Harmony: Overcoming 4 Challenges When Working with Subject Matter Experts

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
L&D Specialist
From Chaos to Harmony: Overcoming 4 Challenges When Working with Subject Matter Experts

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Imagine walking into a library full of books, but instead of being organized by subject, they’re scattered everywhere. That’s what working with a subject matter expert (SME) can feel like, except the books are skills and expertise. But don’t be intimidated! Dive into this blog post to uncover the four challenges you can expect when working with SMEs and how to overcome them for success.

Challenge 1: Managing Diverse Expertise

Subject matter experts bring a wealth of knowledge to the table, but coordinating their various expertise can be a challenge. As one L&D professional put it, “Juggling the talents of multiple SMEs is like conducting an orchestra – you need to ensure everyone is in harmony.” To overcome this, establish clear roles and responsibilities and encourage open communication among team members.

Challenge 2: Ensuring Clear Communication

With different backgrounds and expertise comes the potential for miscommunication. To ensure everyone is on the same page, develop a shared vocabulary and keep communication channels open. As another L&D professional said, “It’s crucial to create a common language and understanding for effective collaboration.”

Challenge 3: Aligning Expectations

Each SME may have their own vision of the project’s outcome, leading to differing expectations. Establish a shared understanding of the project’s goals early on and involve stakeholders to avoid any surprises. One L&D expert shared, “Having open discussions about expectations and flexible project plans makes it easier to find common ground.”

Challenge 4: Adapting to Changing Needs

As projects evolve, so do the needs and requirements of SMEs. Being adaptable and responsive is key to success. One L&D leader shared, “We need to be agile in our approach, making adjustments as the project progresses to achieve the desired outcomes.”

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Learnexus: Your Partner in Overcoming SME Challenges

At Learnexus, we understand that the challenges of working with SMEs can be complex, but we’re here to help. Our freelancer marketplace for Learning & Development offers a 47% cost saving for managers and eliminates procurement issues with a single master services agreement. Find the perfect match for your project and ensure success by leveraging our platform to access highly skilled and experienced L&D professionals. Let Learnexus be your guiding light in the library of expertise, helping you navigate the challenges and achieve success with your SME collaborations.