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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Melan

All About Perspective


It's all about perspective....things I would tell my younger ID self.




Take 1: The Instructional Designer

You hit send...one, two, three, four days go by and no reply from your SME. You’re still hopeful that you’ll hear back by the end of the day since today was the requested feedback deadline. Tomorrow morning is the scheduled sign-off conference call!


No email, no phone call.


We’ve all been here before.

"Don’t they realize how important sticking to the timeline is to the on-time delivery of this project?"

(Sigh) "My SME just doesn’t care - right?"


Let’s take a look at this scenario from the SMES perspective...


Cut to the SME: Day 1

The email arrives with the SME review request...I️ don’t see it until the end of the day because I’ve been in meetings and putting out work fires all day. Since I’m the expert, I’m pulled in a million directions each day. I’m so excited about this new video that the training department is working on because it’s going to help our staff do their jobs more efficiently! I have to get to it soon...


Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 is a repeat of Day 1.





Cut to the SME: Day 5

Oh no, I️ haven’t had time to review and we have the sign-off meeting today! I’ll just plan to review during the meeting.”




Cut to the Instructional Designer: Day 5

Please, please, please - I hope my SME was able to review before this meeting.”


Well, we know what happens.


The SME gets on the call and shares they haven’t been able to review. They end up reviewing over the call and the ID promises to apply updates and resend for final sign-off.


If you haven’t figured it out, SMES have extremely valuable knowledge that is needed by many...not just by you when developing a course.


With that being said, this course is also important to help others do their jobs.


Every SME is different ofcourse, but what I’ve learned is - it’s much better to plan for a live review.


  • Set up the review meeting.

  • Send the deliverable that requires a review a day or 2 prior.

  • After the meeting, you have time to apply your changes within the timeframe you allotted for feedback.

You’re happy, and the SME is happy too!


One size doesn’t fit all - so get to know what works best for your SMES. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have a preference.


That’s a Wrap!



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