Trouble working with a SME -Reply

Subject: Trouble working with a SME -Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 11:33:12 -0800

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

1. Give peace a chance (ugh!). Informalize the procedure. Don't
give him so many chances to spew. Limit his participation to those
passages for which he actually is the expert.

2. Try a one-on-one approach. Take the guy to lunch to discuss your
stuff. Hold the review over the lunch table. Get to know him as a
person. Let him get to know you as a professional. Let that
professional side shine through. Stress to him as gently but firmly
as possible that he is regarded (rightly) as the technical expert but
you are regarded (also rightly) as the expert on how the material is
to be written and presented. If he insists you change the writing or
the presentation, tell him you want to respect him, that you refuse to
get into a shouting match (or whatever it is) with him, that you want
to take his comments seriously, and that you are going to discuss
them with your boss. You want to go to arbitration, in other words.
Be cool.

3. The team approach. Hold a team meeting. Make sure your boss is
willing to argue for your right to be the expert on writing and
presenting. See what he says in a room full of his peers. Not
knowing the players, I cannot predict the result.

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