Re[2]: Trouble working with a SME

Subject: Re[2]: Trouble working with a SME
From: Dan Roberts <Dan_Roberts -at- IBI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 13:10:24 EDT

Garret has a couple of good ideas (going face to face with the SME,
complementing him on his work); however, I think he's opting for a
more aggressive and possibly confrontational meeting than I would want
to deal with.

If the SME is consistent in the *type* of unusable suggestions (for
example, he has a thing about using passive voice, which, as we all
know, *just*will*not*do! [g]), perhaps sitting down and explaining why
you did not incorporate his comments x, y, and z will provide him with
his understanding, and could actually help increase the number of
acceptable comments he makes.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Trouble working with a SME
Author: Garret Romaine <GRomaine -at- msmail -dot- radisys -dot- com> at tcpgate
Date: 10/31/96 12:25 PM

Melinda offered this situation for review:

my manager and I find ourselves head-to-head with one
programmer far too often.

<he wants to> receive an explanation for each suggestion that we do not
(???). It has never been our standard practice to provide feedback to
reviewers on why we don't take some suggestions. My gut reaction is that
this is a bad idea (in part because explanations when given are rarely
accepted and usually spawn a long e-mail exchange designed to convince me
that he is right), but I want to make sure I am looking at this
objectively. He has told us that he considers us rude and disrespectful
because we don't provide this feedback.

Well, you definitely have a problem; it sounds like it was building for

You're probably going to have to sit down with the SME in a meeting room and
go over the comments page by page. If you can bring other review copies, you
should, in case you need rebuttal info. I don't think any long-distance
methods are going to work anymore. You can't just use e-mail bullet lists;
like you say, you only get an explosion of e-mail as a reward. And sending
him back his old review with annotations in the columns won't work, because
he seems to crave face time.

I would be sure to complement the SME copiously to start the meeting,
acknowledging his prowess and try to get him to calm down. He seems to want
some pats on the back for what a good job he does. I've used this line a few
times: "Dude, you would have made a formidable tech writer." Once they're set
up, I usually lower the boom [further deletions]

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