Re: Interviewing Subject Matter Experts

Subject: Re: Interviewing Subject Matter Experts
From: Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 13:58:02 -0500

Tom Murrell has "not had success submitting written questions to SMEs and
getting responses (let alone timely responses)."

Same here. I've run across many people who absolutely must be collared in
person because they ignore their email. I wish--oh, how I wish--I could
submit written questions sometimes and get answers. Instead I find myself
having to interrupt people's work by popping into their cube/office at
random times. Worse yet, I had one SME at a past contract whom I had to
track through the building, following the trail of people she was likely to
have been talking to. "Susan? Oh, she was here a few minutes ago. I saw her
go that-a-way..." Then I had to do the talk-and-walk to get any information
from her. (Making an appointment has never been a great solution, because I
have to either do the pop-in-and-interrupt or the talk-and-walk just to set
up the appointment with folks like that.)

FWIW, I sometimes have some success with email queries when I use subject
lines that (a) make it clear it's a quick and painless question, and (b)
summarize the question so they can start thinking about it before even
opening the email. But this is not an option for a lengthy or complex
series of questions.



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