RE: SME's word

Subject: RE: SME's word
From: Richard Lippincott <richard -dot- lippincott -at- ae -dot- ge -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 12:03:57 -0400

Sean Brierley:
>So, uuuummmmm, just how many separate SMEs do you check?

"It depends."

We may call them "expert," and they may call -themselves- expert, but SME's
are all human. Some are good, some are bad. You've got to get to know what
to expect from each.

I've got some SME's whose word is gospel. I trust them, I trust their data.
Even when I think I've found something that doesn't make sense, if I go
chase down the source data I find out the SME was right in the first place.

I've got some SME's whose word is garbage. One is so bad that the only way I
can make sense of his work is to sit him at a table, dump a box of parts in
front of him, and say "Okay, let's put this thing together." (This
inevitably results in a half-dozen points where I stop and say "Y'know, what
you just did isn't what you said in the data sheet.") Or others where I've
said "I don't think this is what you mean to do" gets the reply "Oh yes it
is" and then six months later "We have to revise that procedure, to do it
the way you said to do in the first place."

--Rick Lippincott
Saugus, MA

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