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How to engage your SME when devlopping e-learning products.

How to engage your SME when devlopping e-learning products.

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    E learning and SME E learning and SME Document Transcript

    • BEST PRACTICES IN ENGAGING SMES DURINGA LEARNING CONTENT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT www.gpworldwide.com www.trainingindustry.com Survey Research Report Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project March 2011 0 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Table of Contents Survey Overview 2 Key Findings 2 I. Overall SME Engagement 3 II. SME Engagement Objective Areas & Practices 6 Clearly Communicating Expectations with SMEs 6 Ensuring SME Commitment to the Project 8 Cultivating an Effective Team Dynamic with SMEs 9 Effectively Managing SMEs Time on the Project 11 Minimizing Conflicting Priorities of SMEs/L&D Team 13 Most and Least Often Done Practices Overall 14 III. About the Study 15 About General Physics Corporation 17 About TrainingIndustry.com 17 About This Research 17 Appendix A: SME Engagement Practice Summary 18 Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 1 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • OverviewLearning and development (L&D) teams, project managers, instructional designers and developers face amajor challenge when it comes to engaging subject matter experts (SMEs) to develop quality content ontime and on budget: SMEs’ time is very limited. SMEs not only have high-priority job responsibilitiesrequiring most of their time, but also once on a learning project, they may disengage from the task or otheractivities may take priority over the learning projects. To address these challenges, L&D teams must do allthey can to win the hearts, minds and time of SMEs.In this study, 173 L&D professionals unlock which among 37 practices are most important and which aremost often done to engage SMEs in five objective areas: • Clearly communicating expectations with SMEs • Ensuring SME commitment to the project • Cultivating an effective team dynamic with SMEs • Effectively managing SMEs time on the project • Minimizing conflicting priorities of SMEs/L&D teamThe study also presents which objectives are most critical, how effective learning professionals are atreaching them and how effective they are at engaging SMEs in general.Key Findings 1) Forty-four percent of the L&D respondents consider themselves effective or highly effective at engaging SMEs. 2) Greater involvement of SMEs throughout the content development lifecycle is associated with greater effectiveness in engaging them. More of those who are effective at engaging SMEs involve SMEs at each phase of the lifecycle, particularly Planning, Analysis, Implementation and Evaluation. Practices related to involving SMEs in project planning/design or throughout the lifecycle were also viewed as critical and were established by over 70% of the respondents. 3) L&D professionals view communicating expectations with SMEs as most critical. The project scope, SME roles and time requirements are key areas to communicate to facilitate SME engagement. 4) The biggest opportunity for improvement in engaging SMEs lies in ensuring SME commitment to the project. While a critical objective area, less than half of all respondents are effective at it. To improve in this area, L&D professionals should demonstrate that they value SMEs’ time and involve them in planning and design. 5) Maintaining regular verbal communications with SMEs was the most critical practice to ensure SME engagement during a content development project. In general, L&D respondents did the things they thought were most critical. 6) Ensuring SMEs’ leadership buy-in before the SME is assigned to the project is the most critical practice for minimizing conflicting priorities with SMEs. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 2 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • I. Overall SME EngagementOverall EffectivenessOverall, 44% of survey respondents felt they were effective (or highly effective) at engaging SMEs to designcontent, as Figure 1 shows. About the same percentage of respondents (41%) felt they were average. Veryfew regarded their SME engagement capabilities as ineffective (only 15%).Figure 1: Self-Ratings for Overall Effectiveness in Engaging SMEs 45% 41% 40% 36% 35% 30% “More “Less Effective” Effective” 25% Group Group 20% 15% 10% 8% 8% 7% 5% 0% N = 167 Highly Effective Effective Average Ineffective Highly IneffectiveTo see if there are differences in what those who consider themselves more effective (the 44% who ratedthemselves effective or highly effective) do versus those who consider themselves less effective (theremaining 56%), the following questions were reviewed for these groups: • When Are SMEs Involved in the Content Development Lifecycle? • How Effective Are L&D Professionals at Each SME Management Objective?When Are SMEs Involved in the Content Development Lifecycle?To fully understand how SMEs are engaged, it is necessary to know not only what practices are employed toengage them, but also when they are involved with the content development lifecycle. The survey definedsix stages in the content development lifecycle as follows:• Planning (e.g., how to best meet training/job needs)• Analysis (e.g., tasks, standards, skills/knowledge needed)• Design (e.g., programs, objectives, test items, job aids)• Development (e.g., lesson plans; methods and materials)• Implementation (e.g., training, collecting course data)• Evaluation (e.g., whether training inputs were effective)As Figure 2 shows, more involvement in each of the stages is associated with more effectiveness. In fact, amuch higher percentage of the more effective group involves SMEs during all phases except Design andDevelopment. The greatest difference between the two groups is in Analysis, where 89% of the moreeffective group makes sure they engage SMEs, compared with only 69% of the less effective group. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 3 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Figure 2: Frequency of SME Involvement in Content Development Phases by Effectiveness Group 100% More Effective Group 89% 90% Less Effective Group 82% 80% 80% 77% 78% 75% 75% R 69% P e 70% 65% e s r e 59% 60% 56% c p e o 50% n n t d 41% e 40% o n f t 30% s 20% 10% 0% N = 171 Planning Analysis Design Development Implementation Evaluation How Effective Are L&D Professionals at Each SME Management Objective?Besides the time periods for engaging SMEs, there are also specific objectives related to SME engagement,which was broken down into the following five objectives: • Clearly communicating expectations with SMEs • Ensuring SME commitment to the project • Cultivating an effective team dynamic with SMEs • Effectively managing SMEs’ time on the project • Minimizing conflicting priorities of SMEs/L&D teamAs a group, respondents are best at communicating expectations with SMEs, as shown in Figure 3. Abouttwo-thirds of all respondents do this well. Meanwhile, a solid majority—58%—reported themselves aseffective at cultivating an effective team dynamic with their SMEs. These are both areas that primarily relyon communication from the L&D team either at the beginning or during the course of a project, areas thatare largely within the direct control of those on the L&D team. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 4 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Figure 3: Self-Ratings for Effectiveness in Each SME Engagement Objective Area Clearly communicating  expectations with SMEs 65% Cultivating an effective team dynamic with SMEs 58% Ensuring SME commitment  to the project* 46% Effectively managing  SMEs time on the project 45% Minimizing conflicting priorities of SMEs 38% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% N = 172 Percent Rating Their L&D Teams Effective or Highly  EffectiveHowever, respondents are less effective in the other three areas, which often depend on the availability andwillingness of the SME to spend time working on the project.Effectiveness at ensuring SME commitment to the project (noted with an asterisk * above) is highlyassociated with overall effectiveness at engaging SMEs. Far more (43%) of those who said they wereeffective at engaging SMEs said that they were also effective at ensuring SME commitment to the project.What Is Most Critical for Engaging SMEs?As Figure 4 shows, communicating expectations is the most critical objective, followed by ensuring SMEcommitment to the project. In fact, when respondents were asked why these were most critical, manydescribed communicating expectations as being foundational to the other areas. For example, only after theL&D team lays out the time expectations can the SME decide whether to commit the time to the project.The underlying reason why respondents believe that all of the objectives are critical is because they supportthe development of quality content (e.g., aligned with learning objectives) in an efficient and timely manner.Figure 4: Most Critical Objective Areas Clearly communicating  expectations with SMEs 35% Ensuring SME commitment  to the project 27% Cultivating an effective team dynamic with SMEs 16% Effectively managing  SMEs time on the project 13% Minimizing conflicting priorities of SMEs/L&D team 9% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% N = 242 Votes Percent of All "Most Critical"  RatingsNote: Unlike the effectiveness ratings above, the chart in Figure 4 represents the percent of “most critical” votes respondents gave to eachof the five objectives divided by the total votes for all objectives; they add up to 100%.Of course, it matters more if L&D teams are effective at areas that matter most in engaging SMEs.Comparing Figure 3 to Figure 4 shows that with one exception—ensuring SME commitment to the project—L&D professionals think they are best at what they think is most important. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 5 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • The most critical area by far—clearly communicating expectations to SMEs—is also the area whererespondents felt they are most competent. This is good news. However, it is not good news that ensuringSME commitment to the project is the second most critical area, but less than half of all respondents saidthey were effective at it. This shows that a) it seems to be a challenging area and b) it represents a keyopportunity for improvement.Now that we know which objectives are most important, how does an L&D team go about achieving eachobjective to better engage SMEs?In the next section, we will drill down on each objective area to look at how effective respondents felt theywere, which practices they think are most critical and which ones they do most frequently. The bestpractices are those practices that are both rated among the most critical and are more often done.II. SME Engagement Objective Areas & PracticesThis section is divided into six parts: one for each of the five SME engagement objectives (from most to leastcritical) and one part that summarizes the most and least frequently done practices. Each of the fiveobjective areas includes answers to these three questions: • How Effective Are Learning Professionals at Doing This? • Which Practices Are Most Critical? • Which Practices Are Being Done?Clearly Communicating Expectations with SMEsHow Effective Are Learning Professionals at Doing This?Of the five objective areas, learning professionals are the most effective at communicating expectations toSMEs. As Figure 5 shows, nearly two-thirds of all respondents felt they were effective at it.Figure 5: Self-Ratings for Effectiveness at Communicating Expectations 60% 51% R 50% P e e s r 40% p c o e 28% n 30% n d t e 20% n 14% o t f s 10% 7% 0% 0% N = 172 Highly Effective Effective Average Ineffective Highly IneffectiveWhich Practices Are Most Critical?As Figure 6 illustrates, there are many areas viewed as critical in communicating expectations. First andforemost is “Share a well-defined project scope with SMEs” to explain what the L&D team is trying to do, Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 6 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • followed by “Define roles and responsibilities for SMEs” to explain what the L&D team wants the SMEs todo. While these may also be put in writing, respondents felt that project kick-off meetings were important.Figure 6: Most Critical Practices for Communicating Expectations Share a well‐defined project scope with SMEs 22% Define roles and responsibilities for SMEs 19% Hold a project kick‐off meeting with SMEs 16% Get SME input on project goals and objectives 13% Get SME agreement on defined review cycles 11% Create a formal plan with SME assignments 7% Establish a single point of contact for SMEs 6% Provide SMEs with upfront communications  plan 6% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% N = 339 Votes Percent of All VotesIn open-ended comments, respondents elaborated on the ways they communicated expectations: • Provide written documents, such as project checklists and briefs, learning contracts, service level agreements, training charters and master project plans, to communicate expectations. • Describe all of the roles in the ISD process; assume they know nothing about the content development process. • At project kick-off, discuss and ensure the SMEs understand how much of their time is needed. • Discuss learning goals and deliverables, and the types of SME contributions that would best use their time and expertise. This builds their commitment and allows them to sign-off on the project.Which Practices Are Being Done?As Figure 7 shows, respondents are generally doing what they think is most critical. The four most frequentlyused practices are the same as the four most critical practices, and the four least frequently used practicesare the same as the least critical practices, in different order. The majority of respondents (70% or more) domost of the practices listed. However, relative to its top importance level, more respondents could adopt thepractice of creating a well-defined project scope that they share with SMEs.Figure 7: Practices Being Done to Communicate Expectations Hold a project kick‐off meeting with SMEs 82% Define roles and responsibilities for SMEs 78% Create a formal plan with SME assignments 75% Get SME input on project goals and objectives 74% Establish a single point of contact for SMEs 72% Get SME agreement on defined review cycles* 63% Create a formal plan with SME assignments 59% Provide SMEs with upfront communications  plan 59% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% N = 172 Percent of Respondents Doing the Practice Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 7 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • When comparing those who are more effective at communicating expectations with those who are lesseffective, the one practice that far more of the effective group do is “Get SME agreement on clearly definedreview cycles.” This practice may be important in communicating expectations effectively.Ensuring SME Commitment to the ProjectHow Effective Are Learning Professionals at Doing This?Unlike communicating expectations with SMEs, where 65% were effective at it, only 46% are effective atensuring SME commitment to the project, as shown in Figure 8. Clearly, respondents found this area muchmore challenging. The majority are less effective at it—meaning average, ineffective or highly ineffective.Figure 8: Self-Ratings for Effectiveness at Ensuring SME Commitment to the Project 45% 42% 40% R 40% P e e 35% s r p 30% c o e 25% n n 20% d t e 15% 12% n o 10% t 6% f 5% s 1% 0% N = 172 Highly Effective Effective Average Ineffective Highly IneffectiveWhich Practices Are Most Critical?Above the rest, two practices stand out for ensuring SME commitment: “Demonstrate that you respect andvalue SMEs’ time/contributions” and “Involve SMEs in project planning and design.” This shows that the waythe L&D team interacts with and involves the SMEs during the project is more important than the otherpractices related to offering incentives and recognition to SMEs after the project ends. Refer to Figure 9.Figure 9: Most Critical Practices for Ensuring SME Commitment to the Project Demonstrate you value SMEs time/contributions 28% Involve SMEs in project planning and design 27% Position SME work as development opportunity 13% Give SMEs credit by naming them on materials 9% Recognize SMEs with non‐monetary incentives 9% Give SMEs flexibility on how they conduct reviews 8% Make L&D work a factor in SME advancement 5% Reward SMEs  with monetary incentives 2% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% N = 317 Votes Percent of All Votes Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 8 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • In open-ended comments, respondents elaborated on how they secured the commitment of SMEs: • Convey “what’s in it for me” such as how it will ultimately benefit them and make their jobs easier (e.g., through a more educated work team that is less dependent on the SMEs). • Partner with SMEs on how material will be developed and how the team will communicate. • Communicate the contributions of the SME and project success to their managers/larger group. • Be focused on what you need from SMEs in meetings, and involve SMEs throughout the content development lifecycle (see “Effectively Managing SMEs’ Time on the Project”). • Get SMEs’ leadership buy-in (see “Minimizing Conflicting Priorities of SMEs/L&D Team”).Which Practices Are Being Done?There is strong overall alignment between the practices that are done most often and those that are mostcritical. Of particular interest is the practice, “Position SME work as development opportunity,” which wasviewed as critical, but only 46% of respondents did it, as shown in Figure 10. It is also the only practice thatis done by far more of those who were effective at ensuring SME commitment to the project—suggesting itmay drive effectiveness in this area.Figure 10: Practices Being Done to Ensure SME Commitment to the Project Demonstrate you value SMEs time/contributions 81% Involve SMEs in project planning and design 70% Give SMEs flexibility on how they conduct reviews 51% Give SMEs credit by naming them on materials 48% Position SME work as development opportunity* 46% Recognize SMEs with non‐monetary incentives 41% Make L&D work a factor in SME advancement 15% Reward SMEs  with monetary incentives 12% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% N = 170 Percent of Respondents Doing the PracticeNote that the least critical and least done practices both involve some kind of personal career or monetarygain for the SMEs. Either this is outside L&D’s control or they do not deem this to be effective, or both.Cultivating an Effective Team Dynamic with SMEsHow Effective Are Learning Professionals at Doing This?The majority of respondents (58%) consider themselves more effective at cultivating team dynamics withSMEs, as shown in Figure 11. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 9 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Figure 11: Self-Ratings for Effectiveness at Team Dynamics 50% 46% 45% R P 40% e 36% e s 35% r p c 30% o e n 25% n d t 20% e n 15% 12% o t f 10% s 5% 5% 1% 0% N = 169 Highly Effective Effective Average Ineffective Highly IneffectiveWhich Practices Are Most Critical?As shown in Figure 12, the two most important practices in cultivating effective team dynamics both have todo with ongoing communications throughout the project—both in general and about meeting projectmilestones. The frequency and topics of communication are more important than the specific tool (e.g.,portal, workflow tool or message boards) or in-person modes of communication (e.g., meetings, lunches orin a location near the SME).Figure 12: Most Critical Practices for Effective Team Dynamics Maintain regular verbal communication  with SMEs 43% Send periodic emails to team  when milestones met 22% Conduct team‐building  with SMEs at project kick‐off 10% Use portal to post project announcements/updates 8% Use a workflow tool (e.g., LCMS) with SMEs 5% Colocate L&D team with  SMEs 4% Conduct team‐building  at end of project with SMEs 4% Host periodic working lunches with SMEs 2% Use message boards to promote networking 1% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% N = 297 Votes Percent of All VotesRespondents described how they cultivate effective team dynamics in open-ended comments, including: • Make sure project information is accessible to SMEs. • Check in with SMEs and other team members to ensure they are on target to meet deadlines. • Report progress to SME stakeholders, not just those on L&D team. • Have the L&D team go to the SMEs’ work site and personally engage them. • Build a respectful relationship with SMEs by learning about them and their areas of expertise. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 10 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Which Practices Are Being Done?As with the previous objective areas, the most frequently employed practices are also the top most critical: inthis case, “Maintain regular verbal communications with SMEs” and “Send periodic emails to team whenmilestones (are) met.” Again, respondents are focused on doing what they think is most important. Refer toFigure 13.Figure 13: Practices Being Done to Cultivate Effective Team Dynamics Maintain regular verbal communication  with SMEs 85% Send periodic emails to team  when milestones met 65% Use a portal to post project announcements/updates 37% Conduct team‐building  with SMEs at project kick‐off 27% Use a workflow tool (e.g., LCMS) with SMEs 19% Host periodic working lunches with SMEs 15% Colocate L&D team with  SMEs 14% Conduct team‐building  at end of project with SMEs 12% Use message boards to promote networking 12% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% N = 170 Percent of Respondents Doing the PracticeEffectively Managing SMEs’ Time on the ProjectHow Effective Are Learning Professionals at Doing This?As shown in Figure 14, the majority of respondents (55%) rate themselves as less effective at managingSMEs time—perhaps because they perceive it to be less within their control.Figure 14: Self-Ratings for Effectiveness at Managing SMEs’ Time 45% 40% 41% R 40% P e e 35% s r p 30% c o e 25% n n 20% d t e 15% 12% n o 10% t 5% f 5% 2% s 0% N = 171 Highly Effective Effective Average Ineffective Highly Ineffective Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 11 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Which Practices Are Most Critical?Unlike most other objective areas, no one or two practices stood out as the most critical practices by far.Instead, four practices—all related to working with the SME—are represented as the top choices, as shownin Figure 15.Figure 15: Most Critical Practices for Managing SMEs’ Time ISD engages SME throughout the content lifecycle 25% ISD is well‐prepared for all SME meetings 22% ISD and SME jointly review drafts of materials 21% ISD interviews SMEs to gather info. and data 17% Assign ISD with relevant knowledge to project 8% ISD researches topic before SME meetings 7% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% N = 326 Votes Percent of All VotesThe two practices that are least critical both relate to what the ISD knows before meeting with the SME.Respondents added the following details on how they best managed the time of SMEs: • Actively involve them in different parts of the lifecycle, including early on in the process as well as in areas such as selecting delivery methods and assessments, and in post-project reviews. • Ensure the ISD plans ahead on what topics to cover and prepares good questions. • Keep the SME focused on the right type and level of content for the learners’ needs. • Document their answers, and then develop content for them to review in chunks for accuracy. • Go to their worksites, and work around their schedules.Which Practices Are Being Done?The majority of all respondents do all of these practices to manage SMEs time. About equal numbers do thetop three, but relatively fewer—71%—do the most critical practice, “ISD engages SME throughout thecontent development lifecycle,” signaling room for improvement for this important practice. See Figure 16.Figure 16: Practices Being Done to Manage SMEs’ Time ISD and SME jointly review drafts of course materials 78% ISD interviews SMEs to gather info. and data 78% ISD is well‐prepared for all SME meetings 76% ISD engages SME throughout the content development lifecycle 71% ISD researches topic independently before SME meetings 66% Assign ISD with relevant knowledge of topic to project 60% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% N = 167 Percent of Respondents Doing the Practice Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 12 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • One practice that may lead to greater effectiveness at managing SMEs’ time is “ISD is well-prepared for allSME meetings.” It was done by substantially more of those who considered themselves more effective at it.Minimizing Conflicting Priorities of SMEs/L&D TeamHow Effective Are Learning Professionals at Doing This?As Figure 17 shows, respondents as a whole do not have a high degree of confidence in their ability tominimize conflicting priorities between the SMEs and their L&D team. Nearly two-thirds were less effective atit. Respondents felt least competent in this area among the five objectives.Figure 17: Self-Ratings for Effectiveness at Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 45% 40% 40% R P 35% e 32% e s r 30% p c o 25% e n n 19% d 20% t e 15% n o t 10% f 6% s 5% 4% 0% N = 171 Highly Effective Effective Average Ineffective Highly IneffectiveWhich Practices Are Most Critical?As shown in Figure 18, two practices rise to the top in minimizing conflicting priorities: “Ensure leadershipbuy-in before SME’s assigned” and “Set a realistic project schedule for SMEs.”Figure 18: Most Critical Practices for Minimizing Conflicting Priorities Ensure leadership buy‐in before SMEs assigned 32% Set a realistic project schedule for SMEs 25% Allow some flexibility in SME project schedule 16% Block time for L&D & SME work using calendar tool 11% Adjust existing job priorities to ensure SME availability 11% Establish escalation process for SME schedule conflicts 5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percent of  All Votes N = 327 Votes Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 13 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Respondents provided further detail on how they achieved the two most critical practices: • Partner with business to agree on business need and desired outcomes for the learning project. • Ask executive sponsors to recommend SMEs who will meet the need and who are available. • Engage SME managers in initial steps of content development (e.g., analysis and planning). • Ensure SME managers are fully aware of and agree to time commitment of SME. • Work with SMEs and SMEs’ managers to develop and agree on the schedule. • Engage SME in schedule review both at the beginning and throughout the project.Which Practices Are Being Done?The top three practices were the same as the three most critical practices, with an order change, as shownin Figure 19. Fewer respondents do the most critical practice, “Ensure leadership buy-in before SME’sassigned.” This suggests that it may be more difficult to do but may be worth the effort.Figure 19: Practices Being Done to Minimize Conflicting Priorities Allow some flexibility in SME project schedule 81% Set a realistic project schedule for SMEs 75% Ensure leadership buy‐in before SMEs assigned 71% Block time for L&D & SME work using calendar tool 58% Adjust existing job priorities to ensure SME availability 54% Establish escalation process for SME schedule conflicts 34% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% N = 170 Percent of Respondents Doing the PracticeMost and Least Often Done Practices OverallAmong the five objective areas, we listed between six and nine practices that L&D teams can do to achieveeach objective, for a total of 37 practices. Of these 37, 75% or more of all respondents did ten practices, asshown in Figure 20. All five objective areas are represented among them, and nearly all of the practices arealso among the most critically rated practices within their areas. The most often done overall practice alsohad the highest critical rating by far: “Maintain regular verbal communication with SMEs.”Figure 20: Most Often Done Practices Maintain regular verbal communication  with SMEs 85% Hold a project kick‐off meeting with SMEs 82% Allow some flexibility in SME project schedule 81% Demonstrate you value SMEs time/contributions 81% Define roles and responsibilities for SMEs 78% ISD and SME jointly review drafts of course materials 78% ISD interviews SMEs to gather info. and data 78% ISD is well‐prepared for all SME meetings 76% Set a realistic project schedule for SMEs 75% Create a well‐defined project scope to share with SMEs 75% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% N = 167 Percent of Respondents Doing the Practice Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 14 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • As shown in Figure 21, less than 20% of all respondents did seven practices, which respondents also ratedas least critical in their areas. Five relate to modes of communication in team dynamics, and two relate toincentives in ensuring commitment. To see a list of all 37 practices with their objective areas, overallfrequency and critical ratings, see Appendix A.Figure 21: Least Often Done Practices Use a workflow tool (e.g., LCMS) with SMEs 19% Host periodic working lunches with SMEs 15% Make L&D work a factor in SME advancement 15% Colocate L&D team with  SMEs 14% Use message boards to promote networking 12% Conduct team‐building  at end of project with SMEs 12% Reward SMEs  with monetary incentives 12% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20% N = 170 Percent of Respondents Doing the PracticeIII. About the StudyIndustriesThe 173 total survey participants came from at least 11 broad industry sectors, with about 1 in 3 comingfrom the financial services or technology sectors. Refer to Figure 22.Figure 22: Industries of Respondents Financial Services (Banking, Insurance) 20% Technology & Telecommunications 15% Business Services / Consulting 10% Manufacturing 9% Healthcare, Pharma & Medical 9% Education (K‐graduate) 6% Retail 3% Government (Federal, State/Local) 3% Non‐profit 3% Hospitality 3% Utilities 2% Other 17% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% N = 173 Percent of RespondentsNote: “Other” includes Transportation, Aerospace, Construction and Training & Development. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 15 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Company SizesOver 2 in 3 respondents (69%) came from companies with sizes of 1,000 or more. Refer to Figure 23.Figure 23: Employee Size Ranges of Respondents 25% 23% 23% R P e 20% e s r p 15% 13% c o 11% e 9% 10% n 10% n 6% d 5% t 5% e 1% n o 0% t f s N = 167Content Development RolesAs shown in Figure 24, half of all respondents were instructional systems designers or developers, while onein three were either project managers or training leaders.Figure 24: Content Development Roles of Respondents Developer or Instructional Systems Designer (ISD) 50% Project Manager 24% Training Leader (e.g., Manager, Director) 11% Business Unit Sponsor 8% SME 6% Other Training‐Related Role 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% N = 173 Percent of Respondents Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 16 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • About GP General Physics Corporation (GP) is a global training and consulting company that helps performance-driven organizations solve business issues while creating pathways for continuous improvement. GP’s approach to teamwork is personalized and reinforced by a strong commitment to earning client satisfaction. GP’s learning professionals are dedicated to providing the superior service and flexible solutions that have been the hallmark of the company for more than 40 years. From custom training, sales training and consulting to talent management and business process outsourcing, when working with GP, clients can count on a tailored approach that focuses on their business goals. For more information, visit http://trainingoutsourcing.gpworldwide.com or call 1-888-843- 4784.About TrainingIndustry.com TrainingIndustry.com spotlights the latest news, articles, case studies and best practices within the training industry. Our focus is on helping dedicated business and training professionals get the information, insight and tools needed to more effectively manage the business of learning. For more information, go to www.trainingindustry.com or call 1-866-298-4203.About This Research Copyright © 2011 by GP and Training Industry, Inc. All rights reserved. No materials from this study can be duplicated, copied, re-published or re-used without written permission from GP or Training Industry, Inc. The information and insights contained in this report reflect the research and observations of GP and Training Industry, Inc. analysts. Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 17 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation
    • Appendix A: SME Engagement Practice Summary % % CriticalPractice Objective Area Done Critical RankMaintain regular verbal communication with SMEs Team Dynamics 85% 43% 1 of 9Hold a project kick-off meeting with SMEs Communicating Expectations 82% 16% 3 of 8Allow some flexibility in SME project schedule Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 81% 16% 3 of 6Demonstrate you value SMEs time/contributions Ensuring SME Commitment 81% 28% 1 of 8Define roles and responsibilities for SMEs Communicating Expectations 78% 19% 2 of 8ISD and SME jointly review drafts of materials Managing SMEs Time 78% 21% 3 of 6ISD interviews SMEs to gather info. and data Managing SMEs Time 78% 17% 4 of 6ISD is well-prepared for all SME meetings Managing SMEs Time 76% 22% 2 of 6Set a realistic project schedule for SMEs Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 75% 25% 2 of 6Share a well-defined project scope with SMEs Communicating Expectations 75% 22% 1 of 8Get SME input on project goals and objectives Communicating Expectations 74% 13% 4 of 8Establish a single point of contact for SMEs Communicating Expectations 72% 6% 7 of 8ISD engages SME throughout content lifecycle Managing SMEs Time 71% 25% 1 of 6Ensure leadership buy-in before SMEs assigned Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 71% 32% 1 of 6Involve SMEs in project planning and design Ensuring SME Commitment 70% 27% 2 of 8ISD researches topic before SME meetings Managing SMEs Time 66% 7% 6 of 6Send periodic emails to team when milestones met Team Dynamics 65% 22% 2 of 9Get SME agreement on defined review cycles Communicating Expectations 63% 11% 5 of 8Assign ISD with relevant knowledge to project Managing SMEs Time 60% 8% 5 of 6Create a formal plan with SME assignments Communicating Expectations 59% 7% 6 of 8Provide SMEs with upfront communications plan Communicating Expectations 59% 6% 8 of 8Block time for SME work using calendar tool Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 58% 11% 4 of 6Adjust job priorities to ensure SME availability Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 54% 11% 5 of 6Give SMEs flexibility on how they conduct reviews Ensuring SME Commitment 51% 8% 6 of 8Give SMEs credit by naming them on materials Ensuring SME Commitment 48% 9% 4 of 8Position SME work as development opportunity Ensuring SME Commitment 46% 13% 3 of 8Recognize SMEs with non-monetary incentives Ensuring SME Commitment 41% 9% 5 of 8Use portal to post project announcements/updates Team Dynamics 37% 8% 4 of 9Establish escalation process for schedule conflicts Minimizing Conflicting Priorities 34% 5% 6 of 6Conduct team-building with SMEs at kick-off Team Dynamics 27% 10% 3 of 9Use a workflow tool (e.g., LCMS) with SMEs Team Dynamics 19% 5% 5 of 9Make L&D work a factor in SME advancement Ensuring SME Commitment 15% 5% 7 of 8Host periodic working lunches with SMEs Team Dynamics 15% 2% 8 of 9Colocate L&D team with SMEs Team Dynamics 14% 4% 6 of 9Reward SMEs with monetary incentives Ensuring SME Commitment 12% 2% 8 of 8Conduct team-building at end of project with SMEs Team Dynamics 12% 4% 7 of 9Use message boards to promote networking Team Dynamics 12% 1% 9 of 9 Best Practices for Engaging SMEs During a Content Development Project 18 © Training Industry, Inc and General Physics Corporation