We previously discussed a scenario where the SME had not performed a deep dive on their end and surprised everyone with a need to halt progress in the project.
Some ideas to avoid this situation, keeping in mind it may not be avoidable:
- Be the “why” child in your discovery meetings and casual chats – of course you don’t want to be obnoxious but you can be curious about a process, causing the SME to think through steps they may have assumed were easily performed
- Ask for a written outline of what needs to happen on their end – again, causing your SME to think through steps and perhaps catch something they would have missed
- Try to get another SME to join the discovery meeting – being mindful of delicate egos, see if you can get difference perspectives of the tasks which may help your SME’s elaborate on their various tasks needing to be performed
In the end, you rely on your SME’s because they only know what no one else knows and if they miss it, there may be little you can do except document a lesson learned.