Since we don’t have the ability to read minds, enabling us to learn quickly from experts, we must settle for subject matter experts (SMEs), who can help us understand what employees need to learn to reach the desired outcomes and how to sequence that training effectively.
Among the actors in training development, the subject matter expert is second in importance only to the business owner, who provides the funding for the process. If you don’t have a subject matter expert available for your training development project, the project team is not complete, and it’s incumbent on the team to select someone to become the SME through self-education, to hire or contract with an SME, or to purchase content in which the SME expertise is already “baked in.”
Content produced without the benefit of a strong SME feels bland and unremarkable. It’s the result of a system designed to turn any starting content into training, but without the SME, the raw materials can’t make truly great training.