code prole


coding for the proletariat since 1977


Subject matter experts are a critical resource for any development effort. Without knowledgeable technical resources on your team during requirements analysis, analysis, and design it will be impossible to accurately and completely capture the essence of the desired application. All the modeling tools in the world can’t replace one SME.

In a consulting engagement, the SME role has a heightened significance. Resources who are experts in the methodology or tooling can be contracted for the project. But they cannot know the business at sufficient detail to move the project forward. The client must provide unfettered access to one or more SME resources in order to assure success.

My current engagement is frustrating as SME are constantly being pulled off the project to put out fires elsewhere. Repeated attempts to tie delivery date slippage to SME availability has had only limited success. In other words, we are still tasked with meeting our deadline even though we have just lost our SME for at least a quarter of the remaining project duration.

In true geek gallows humor the team has started to refer to itself as the “Kobiashi Maru” after the unsolvable command problem in “The Wrath of Kahn” from the Star Trek movie series.


Filed under: Project Management

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