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Subject Matter Expert Involvement – The Business Is in Control

“Previously we described why it is important to get the right people involved. Important projects require subject matter experts who have actual knowledge and experience in the areas addressed by the project. Remember our old friends Crusty, Dusty, and Rusty? They should not have been near the project. It takes the right people to be effective subject matter experts. Here are some questions to ask to be sure you got the right ones:

  • Did the management team of the affected business areas provide directions?
  • Did all members of the affected business areas have peer representation?
  • Did the one or two key people identified by the business area team members participate and ‘break away’ from their day-to-day responsibilities?
  • Were you able to separate the subject matter expert management and non-management teams?”


“Having the right people assigned to the project and getting them to work on it are two different things. While conducting your forensic project review, you need to determine whether or not the assigned people actually worked on their assigned tasks, by asking these questions:

  • Were the subject matter experts available when scheduled?
  • Were definition or review meetings held without assigned subject matter experts?
  • Did the subject matter experts review and sign off on each non-infrastructure project deliverable before the deliverable was submitted for final approval?”


“Your goal is to determine whether or not the business area made the key decisions on the project with respect to business rules, scope, and function. When the technical team has to assume the decision-making role, you will definitely have a disconnect between expectation and final product.”