Advice to Subject Matter Experts: Summing It Up

A Checklist of Best Practices for Working with Content Developers and Instructional Designers

Here it is, week five of this topic. Time to sum it up in three best practices.

When subject matter experts are working with content developers and designers for training, marketing, sales, promotion and public relations, what you know is the most important part of the process. It is the job of the content developer or instructional designer to assemble questions, propose an interview and review schedule, and ask you to fill in information gaps.

However, you can have some control of the process itself from your end to help the content developer/writer/instructional designer/trainer to capture your knowledge.

Control can be a wonderful thing. Here are a few tips to make sure you have some leverage on the process.

  1. Flow of Information – Feel free to correct and amend? If the steps or flow of the information that the writer has outlined for you do not make sense to you, put them in a logical sequence for them. Nobody understands the context of the material better than you, and that includes the developer.
  2. Schedule – Be in control of the schedule from your end. If you are working with someone who has difficult meeting their end of the deal, say so and escalate it if you have to.
  3. Content – Ultimately, it is your content. If it is right or wrong, you are the final authority. Check, correct and approve.

You are in the role of a subject matter expert because you are 100% focused on your skill, ability, craft and knowledge. That is the great thing that makes you valuable. Without you, we’d be writing about…



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