Would asking for personal experiences from others in the field fall into your category of being a poor question? Is this site about objective questions -- like Stack Exchange, Super User, and Server Fault, or is it about subjective questions -- like Programmers Stack Exchange?

Here is an example of what I believe is a subjective question:

What percentage of a project manager's time should be spent working in the project management software and documentation?

Would this be an example of a subjective question? I spend a lot of time on Programmers Stack Exchange, where questions like this are more than welcome. Am I confusing the goals of this site?

I'm not sure how well this site will do if it won't make allowances for subjective questions. Unlike Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Super User, not all questions asked here are going to have a single correct answer. Depending on the environment that the project manager works in, he/she may find that what works for one person may not work for another.

What are your thoughts and opinions on what types of questions should be asked here?

This is not a duplicate of IT Management vs Project Management. Just to be clear, I'm asking whether or not we are accepting objective questions, subjective questions, or both.

3 Answers 3


Stack Exchange has long since made allowances for topics of a more subjective nature. It is no longer about objective vs. subjective; rather, asking great questions well suited for this type of Q&A vs soliciting unqualified, opinion-laden discussions.

This is almost a non-issue. Take a look at the Guidelines for Great Subjective Questions:

Good Subjective, Bad Subjective

  • My question invoked a lot of criticism for being difficult to answer, yet I feel my question fits the format of a good, subjective question. I felt my question met the guidelines listed for good, subjective questions, especially #2 and #4. Do you have any feedback on what could be done to make that a better question? Thanks!
    – jmort253
    Feb 10, 2011 at 4:05
  • Your link is great: thanks for that. but it doesn't says that we can neglect this problem. Some sites of StackExchanges still prohibit subjective question, so I think we should make it clear here. And about how the subjective question should be asked, too. I think your link is a great resource, and we should add it to the FAQ. Feb 10, 2011 at 8:06
  • @jmort253: There are many problems with your question. It is very broad. It has many sub-questions, all very generalized with complex answers. Every answer would certainly start out with "it depends." That's a bad sign. You can tell your question is not answerable because of what you are actually asking: "Everyone, please fill out this form and tell me what you do, and I'll sort it all out later." That's not really a question; it's a poll, and we don't really do that here. Come up with specific questions, specific to your situation, questions that people can answer... decisively. Feb 10, 2011 at 15:05
  • I'm interested in the opinion you made. If possible, could you give me some example "ideal" questions? I think it would make your point clearer, and it will be easier for us to understand. Feb 11, 2011 at 4:54

I think we should allow subjective question, because:

  1. There's no two alike projects/situations, so the experience of each person is different.

  2. It's usually no accurate solution to a management problem, sometimes there's not even an optimal one. It's like some kind of trade-off: this solution may be faster, but that solution is cheaper... Prioritizing is a difficult problem.

  3. Management deals a lot with people, so it's subjective

About objective questions, I think it's ok if referring the theory of Project Management. Every subject has its own theories, and they are often extracted from real works. It will cost much time if we must explain everything, such as, "critical path". But in my opinion, every question that be asked here should have some practical value, not too academic.

  • How can we get this put in the FAQ? This is a great, well-written answer!
    – jmort253
    Feb 10, 2011 at 4:15
  • @jmort253: thank you for the comment, though I don't think it's necessary enough for us to do so. Feb 10, 2011 at 8:17
  • You should read The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta before tossing out your answer so quickly. See question #2 "What should our FAQ contain?".
    – jmort253
    Feb 11, 2011 at 5:42

Project management is as much an art as a science. Definitely need subjective questions.

Other people's subjective and personal experience can bring great value to an answer or to solving a problem that may not have a strictly "objective" solution.

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