The Importance of Subject Matter Experts

🕑 2 minutes read | May 16 2018 | By Becky Gendron

A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is someone who has a deep understanding of a function, process, technology, machine, material, or equipment. [i] Truth be told, not all SMEs are the same in terms of delivering value. For instance, in the world of learning and development (L&D), a successful SME is someone who can contribute as a key member of an L&D team, and is comfortable working in a group or team environment. If you’re curious if having an SME would be beneficial for your organization, here are three benefits an SME provides.


An SME can ensure that your organization’s workflows and information are correctly organized and detailed in a manner that’s required to meet critical business needs. Tasks, such as creating an easy-to-use system for organizing information, documents, deadlines, and deliverable dates are all benefits of an SME. He or she is also clear in their communication of knowledge to others in the organization to help improve overall job performance. An SME can act as a consultant to those in your organization who create and publish training and learning materials.[ii]


A true SME will have the most in-depth knowledge of the content in their subject matter. They have done the work, and know the challenges that you and your organization face. Most importantly, an SME adds authenticity and depth to your content. While your SME might throw a ton of information at you, it’s important to note that having a marketing team or writers to expertly “craft” the content is crucial in making this content beneficial and understandable to its users.


The overall cost of a project is always one of the most important items, and an SME can help lower project costs because of their knowledge of the topic. An internal SME can deliver project tasks more quickly, more efficiently, and more accurately than the average outsider for your organization.[iii] They’ll know how to best serve your audience and specific demographic needs.

[i] What Is a Subject Matter Expert?
[ii] The importance of true subject matter expertse
[iii] The importance of true subject matter experts

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