i travel full-time and i'm a subject matter expert

Subject Matter Experts: Find Yours in the Untapped Remote Workforce of Full-time Travelers

You invest a fortune and multi-department resources in every one of your specialty employees–needing them to deliver a big return–while they are changing jobs every three years in order to quickly build their capabilities and increase their income potential. The spin rate of the revolving door at your organization is preventing you from completing essential business. It’s time to stop that revolution and start a productive one. It’s time to contract in the unsurpassed productivity of subject matter experts (SMEs), 20 million or more of whom live a gig lifestyle while travelling the world.

SMEs are on your payroll because they have deep knowledge of and extensive experience in their area of expertise, from accounting to branding, design to engineering, human resources to innovation, operations to quality, and about 500 other areas of specialty. Next time you feel the rush of air from the c-suite revolving door:

  1. Get the list of that employee’s current and future initiatives,
  2. Identify the core subject matter expertise required to execute each one by priority,
  3. Connect with the agency that has access to this travelling and remote pool of SMEs in your specific area of expertise need, and
  4. Get them onboard remotely.

The only two things a remote SME can’t bring to bear on your projects is a history with your company and recognition as a part of it. No matter. The remote SME knows the business, industry and task at hand; that’s why they have their designation.

For every process deployment imaginable, there are SMEs who can execute transformation and train for sustainability. For example, picture an early-retired SME who has specialized in operational excellence and is an expert in one or more industries and the practices of:

  • Adaptive Business,
  • Organizational Change Management,
  • Business Process Improvement/Reengineering,
  • Lean and Lean Six Sigma, and
  • Supply Chain Management.

This SME has implemented transformations for dozens of companies, working shoulder-to-shoulder with chief officers, and used both the time-tested tools in his area of expertise as well as her deep capabilities to bring your goals to fruition. All you have to do for your SME to succeed is:

  1. Set clear objectives and keep them in focus.
  2. Include and get commitment to milestones and deadlines.
  3. Schedule information gathering time, location and structure.
  4. Have strict agendas for meetings and follow them.
  5. Record information gathering and sessions.
  6. If you aren’t clear about anything the SME says/does, ask questions until you are.
  7. Educate yourself about the project and the SME.
  8. Document the project so it can be explained to others and be iterative.
  9. Put systems in place to prevent rework.
  10. Create an error control system.

What these look like for each project can be readily defined by you in collaboration with your remote SME. Once you’ve both agreed and signed off the procedural plan, the SME will be ready to begin.

References

Understanding the Role and Purpose of the Subject Matter Expert

Organizational Survival: 10 Tips for Working with Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Expert: Working Toward Ensuring the Value in a Project Organization

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