PRESENTATION – SMEs – 27 November 2014

Senate Efficiency Review (SER)
Wave One projects
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
Presentation for Registry Staff meeting
27November 2014
What is a SME?
A SME is a Subject Matter Expert
like all the Project Team members,
SMEs need to understand their roles.
Subject Matter Experts
SMEs have special, in-depth knowledge of a business area (eg,
matriculation, advising, mark reporting, decision-making on international
qualifications, thesis submissions, etc.) that enhances a Project Team's
understanding of a given legacy process…. So each project will have its
own SMEs.
A SME is a stakeholder for a business team which means that when the
SME is with the Project Team s/he is acting as a business ambassador for
one area of the business (eg, UG Team, CSA Team, PGR Team, etc.)
I am not expecting SMEs to co-locate (ie, sit together) with the Project
Team. Instead, SMEs will be called out of the office to work alongside the
Project Team for a morning, afternoon or even up to 3 days a week.
Budget has been agreed for Teams who have SMEs working on a project
so there may be funds available for overtime, if that is appropriate, or there
may be funds to bring in temporary support staff. The actual
arrangements will be Team specific.
Subject Matter Experts
SMEs help to keep focus on the agreed MoSCoW priorities. These
priorities are set up front at the beginning of each timebox. They are
taken from the master list of High Level Requirements (HLRs) agreed
by the Project Team at the start of the project. SMEs will help to
determine what is in and what is out of a particular timebox iteration.
SMEs help to determine whether change requests during an iteration
are adding value to the end user and/or the project at that stage.
Each SME plays a critical role in defining business needs, test
requirements, and software functionality.
Subject Matter Experts
SMEs need to have recognised expertise and authority for a given
business process usually because the SME has worked in the area for
some time and knows the processes inside and out.
Along with their business process knowledge, SMEs will be expected
to have good communication skills and need to be prepared to act as a
trainer, approver, knowledge sharer or reviewer at different times
during the project.
SMEs may even be asked to help design the architecture of a new
software system.
Subject Matter Experts
Here are some things SMEs may be asked to do:
• Help answer questions associated with the design of the current system
including its features and its capabilities.
• Help to choose or review test cases associated with the testing that will
be done in a timebox.
• Give opinion on the design and construction of test cases and business
• Validate results from testing.
• Ensure that requirements have coverage during testing.
• Help validate the specific user requirements being developed in a
• Help refine and determine feasibility, correctness, and completeness of
end-user's requirements.
• Help developers walk through codes in software developments (eg,
status codes, CBKs, course change functionality, automations, etc.).
Subject Matter Experts
To help SMEs be productive throughout the project, the
Project Manager will ensure in writing that:
• SME have well-defined tasks, deliverables, and due dates.
• Before arriving at a meeting, the SME will have had the opportunity to
ask questions about his/her role at the meeting to ensure that s/he
understands it clearly.

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