4 Easy Ways To Win Over Reluctant SMEs

When it comes to implementing GST, involving personnel from different departments are key to your success.[br]


They’re the one you turn to when you need the important details to make your implementation go through smoothly, they are the Subject Matter Expert (SME) they set  the success of your workflow in terms of documentation planning and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) drafting, or just a breakdown of how a specific process works.[br]


In short, they are playing one of the most important roles in the success of GST implementation project. On the contrary, if they are not engaged or reluctant to work with you, they can also be your biggest challenge.[br]


Since SMEs are vital critical to your GST implementation projects and with deadline coming so soon now, hence it’s not too late to learn how to turn even the most difficult SME into an engaging team member.[br]



Develop A Relationship With Your SMEs[br]




When you’re working on a tight deadline, it’s easy to get caught up in getting the information you need as quickly as possible. But don’t forget to exchange a few simple niceties with your SMEs before you start grilling them for answers.[br]

You don’t need to become best friends with them or invite them over for dinner. A simple step such as having an introductory meeting will do a nice job too.[br]

Give them an idea of who you are, what you’re building, and how excited you are to work with them. They’ll be more open to working with you if you establish a positive connection with them first.[br]


People are more likely to show enthusiasm for something when they feel like they’re truly part of it. So do your best to get your SMEs on board with what you’re trying to accomplish and make sure they understand how critical their role is to the success of a project.[br]


Be Respectful Of Your SMEs’ Time




If you have a tight deadline and your SMEs are unable to give you the information you need, it’s easy to get frustrated. But before you march into their offices to demand for answers, take a minute or two to consider that SMEs aren’t purposely to ignore you or withhold any information from you. They’re just busy people having deadlines of their own.[br]


To avoid a missed deadline, ensure SMEs have the direct support they need from their managers.[br]


The best way to do this is to involve your SMEs and their respective managers in the project as early as possible.[br]


Clearly outline what you need from them and ask them when they can deliver it. If they’re overloaded with other work, perhaps their managers can work with you to free up some of their time.[br]


Try to be as specific as possible as to what you need. For instance, if you want them to provide tips for success or examples of how something works, tell them upfront.[br]


You’ll find that most SMEs are more willing to help when you show respect for their schedules and needs.[br]


Speak the language your SMEs will understand




Imagine that you’re an SME who has been asked to help in the implementation of GST’s SOP. [br]


During your first meeting with the GST implementation team, they start “grilling” you about GST technical matters and throwing out terms like “open market value”, “out of scope supply” and “blocked input”. If you have little or no experience with GST, you might start to feel confused or as if you’re in a room full of elitist know-it-alls. And you probably wouldn’t want to  be in a great hurry to get back to the room with them.[br]


When working with your SMEs to gather information, encourage them to avoid using industry-specific jargon and  clarify or define all acronyms and “industry-speak”, especially if your SOP is targeted at new comers who have no idea on what they’re talking about or it involves cross departmental implementation. Help them to identify potentially confusing language or terms and tailor their language to be as simple as possible.[br]


Show your appreciation for your SMEs




People like to be recognized. [br]


A great way to capture your SMEs’ attention and support is to send a glowing email to their managers and copy them on it. Or find out where they get their morning coffee and leave them a gift voucher for that place. It doesn’t take much to show a little appreciation for your SMEs. And you’ll be glad for what you did next time you’re requesting some extra time or information from them.[br]


At the end of the day, it’s all about human relationships. As long as you put a little effort into developing a good relationship with your subject matter experts, you’ll likely to find it easier to get information or feedback that you need from them. And you’ll reap the rewards of a timely and successful GST implementation.[br]


Last but not least, should you have any comments, please share them with us.[br]





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