JUN 4, 2014 5:00am ET

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The SME’s Bill of Rights


This is one of my particular bugbears. Very often SMEs are asked the same question over and over again. The phenomenon of periodic reanalysis of the same subject matter is prevalent in data management and IT. This points to incredibly immature knowledge management practices in most enterprises. Part of the problem is the fixation of working in projects. Knowledge is obtained from an SME only for use in a current project and is not curated with any intent for future reuse of any kind. Documentation is always just "good enough" for the current project team in its current state at the current time. Passage of time or change in state of the project team requires the analyst to revisit the SME to ask the same questions again. This is an unjustfiable waste of resources. Additionally, it makes the SME indispensible to the enterprise, which is a huge risk. I personally know some SMEs who have been laid off from their jobs, only to be rehired because the knowledge they possessed only existed in their heads and nowhere else.

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