You find yourself working on a tight deadline. You have three weeks to turn in a project. One of your tasks is to meet with the Subject Matter Expert (SME) and get engineering details from him. You call him and explain your situation to him. He says he can't meet with you for the next four weeks. His schedule is fully booked. “Sorry, " he says and hangs up the phone.
The above example is not an uncommon situation. As a technical writer you will find yourself constantly working with SMEs. (In some companies they're called “Contributors. ")
A Subject Matter Expert is someone who is an expert in a particular area. SMEs can be engineers, doctors, geologists, software developers, or anyone who knows more about the subject than the target audience.
The biggest obstacle you'll encounter working with SMEs is their lack of availability. SMEs such as engineers and doctors have their own priorities. And spending time with you is not on the top of their list. Generally, most SMEs don't get paid extra to help you with your project. It is something they are expected to do over and above their regular job description, if they have the time.
When working on major projects, you could need an SME for hundreds of hours. In such a situation, it's in your best interest to develop a long term relationship with your SME.
Five things you can do to build a long term relationship with an SME:
1. Make him feel important
Tell the SME that without his contribution, the project will not be successful. The project's success is closely tied to his co-operation. This will make him understand his importance to the success of the project.
2. Take an interest in her work
Take an active interest in the SMEs work to show you appreciate what she does. People like talking about their work. Your job is to ask questions and become a good listener. Don't pretend that you're interested and be sincere when you ask questions. As a technical writer, you should be interested because you're learning something new, and the more you learn, the better a technical writer you will become.
3. Open the communication channels
Keep your SME in the loop about the progress you're making on the project. This will keep the SME involved, and he will take a personal interest in the success of your project.
4. Recognize the SMEs contribution
Praise and thank the SME for her contribution at every opportunity you get. Sometimes, a simple thank you goes a long way in getting the SME's support.
5. Be sincere and honest in your interactions
When working with SMEs it's a good idea to lay your cards on the table. Give the SME a true picture of what you're working on. You'll be surprised to find how ready people are to help you when you come across as a sincere person.
No matter what happens, don't When shopping for California auto insurance, there are some qualities to look for in carriers to ensure you get the best possible policy. Shopping around and comparing prices, policies, and offers will help you find reliable auto insurance that meets your needs.
Reasons to Shop Around
California auto insurance premium laws allow companies to calculate their own rates based on past loss experience and expenses. Within the state, rates can vary tremendously. Claims handling methods and customer service will also vary from one company to the next. By comparing several California car insurance companies, you will be able to determine which rate and type of coverage will work for you.
How to Compare
When comparing California auto insurance providers, be sure to obtain a list of various types of coverage offered by each company. Also, obtain a copy of your driving record before shopping so you can receive adequate quotes from several companies. Compare the types of coverage along with the coverage dollar amount and policy payout limits. The types of coverage to consider are liability for personal injury, property liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured and underinsured motorist, medical, towing, and full glass. These cover different types of claims, and can greatly affect the premium of your policy.
When buying auto insurance, California insurance companies will take your driving record into consideration when offering a quote. So, the better your record, then the better your premium quotes will be. If you've had several speeding tickets or a major accident or two that were your fault, your insurance premiums will be much higher than someone with a clear driving record. That's why you can't rely on quotes offered to other drivers for your own comparison. Obtain your own quotes based on your record for the best comparison.
Compare California Auto Insurance Agents
An agency is only as good as its agents, especially when it comes to car insurance. Be sure the agent is licensed with the California Department of Insurance (CDI). You can ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, or relatives which insurance agent they use and if they're pleased with the service provided. Ask friends if they've recently had to make a claim and how well it was handled. Ask if the agent is prompt in responding when there's a question or a need to change a policy. Also ask if the agent takes time to explain things in the policy to make it easy to understand. Read all documentation concerning broker fees before signing an agreement. The broker is required to give you a special broker fee disclosure.
Compare insurance discounts to see if you qualify. Also, consider a higher deductible to lower your overall premium. Consider the company's policy on other drivers for your vehicle, policies on driving out of the country to Canada or Mexico, payment options and terms of the policy, and extra fees such as membership fees or policy issuance fees.
Keep these in mind before securing your California auto insurance. Compare coverage and pricing, and read the policy carefully before signing. Do one last check with the Better Business Bureau to be sure the company doesn't have excessive complaints. And lastly, use online resources to compare various California auto insurance companies from the comfort of your home. You won't regret it!
loose your cool due to SME frustrations. Be patient and win the SME over. It will go a long way in ensuring your success as a technical writer.
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Compare California Auto Insurance or Majon's Automotive directory.