This question What should I focus on as a student of IT to prepare myself for a career in Project Management? is something that should get a lot of interest from general Google searches. It is also the kind of question our community is more than happy to answer with advice. However it doesn't strictly fit into the guidelines.

What should we do with it?

3 Answers 3


Questions like this really have one of two ways they could go:

  1. Edit the question to fit your scope. This is the most common option, and can add a lot of value to the site by making the question more specific and more applicable to your site's scope. I've seen this work out really well on sites like Parenting, where a so-so question is molded a bit into a far superior one. This is a possibility, but it's entirely dependent on how much effort your userbase wants to put in.

  2. Make every answer absolutely flawless. This is the other way a question like this could go. Real advice paired with citations, graphs, extensive research, anecdata -- not just nine yards, but the whole dang football field. (Or, for those on metric, not just eight meters, but the entire football pitch.) There's a post lock option for questions that includes requiring fuller answers and that users have at least 10 reputation on the site in order to respond. A mediocre question can be saved with one (or multiple) utterly flawless, complete, excellent answers -- especially if the answers come at the problem from two different perspectives.

In this case, given how beneficial this question could be for you, I personally would like to see the second happen. With respect to perspectives, I'd love to see someone who went from Dev -> PM, and also someone who went from PM -> Dev, however optimistic that might be.

I hope this is helpful! Note that the above list is by no means mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive; there are lots of other potential ways to handle this (and I hope the community offers those up!) and there is a middle ground between the aforementioned that could also be pursued.

  • Thank you, Aarthi. Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 16:13
  • +1 - I love this philosophy in point #2. It has literally saved countless questions on Workplace SE. The more we dedicate to giving full, detailed answers, the better the questions appear. I suggest our community review the answers on this question. If some are incomplete, consider leaving a comment, downvoting, or flagging those that don't answer the question. Since answers are a dime a dozen, and questions are rare and valuable, focusing effort on flawless answers could be just what we need.
    – jmort253
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 21:58
  • What is a flawless answer to a question that has no answer? Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 22:08
  • Nice question, @aclear16 Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 23:24
  • @aclear16 - See the 6 Guidelines for Great Subjective Questions in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. While the guidelines refer to how to ask, they also hint at what to expect in answers. For instance, a one-line answer on our site should likely be flagged as "not an answer", downvoted, and commented on. Conversely, an answer that covers every point in the question and uses the "Back it up" rule to explain why you think you are right is probably best. If only one liners are possible, vote to close.
    – jmort253
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 0:48

As a moderator, I wouldn't outright close it, but if it got 5 close votes I wouldn't reopen it either. The rest of my answer below applies to borderline questions such as this and some possible ideas for approaching how we treat questions, answers, and ways to possibly lower the barriers to entry into the PMSE community without sacrificing quality. See below for more details:

Subjective Questions and Real Answers

I really think Aarthi is onto something here in regards to focusing more on the answers. One way to do this is to focus more on the back it up rule as well as in migrating the table in What is an acceptable answer from Meta Stack Overflow and adapting it to fit PMSE Meta.

Subjectivity is part of PMSE:

The fact is, parts of PMSE are subjective in nature, and some esteemed members of our community have made it clear that they value such questions. Therefore, I believe we need to focus more on making sure we write really great answers and cut down on answers that don't meet the guidelines, such as comments as answers or answers that fail to explain "why" or "how".

Next step, decide what is and isn't a valid answer:

I believe the next step in our community's growth is to decide exactly what is and isn't a valid answer on PMSE and enforce that rule as a community. For instance, if we're not going to post more than a sentence or two, one possible rule could be to either don't post it, or leave it as a comment. Most answerers aren't first time Stack Exchange users. We know the drill. Therefore, by being more disciplined answerers, I really believe we can give question-askers a bit more leeway and make it slightly easier for new and existing users to post questions.

After all, a single question can lead to 3, 5, or 10 possible great answers; the questions are the valuable seeds that help our site grow.

Answers are easier to improve than questions:

Most of the time when I leave comments on answers flagged as NAA (Not an answer) the poster is able to edit the post and improve it. In my experience, it's much much easier to improve your answer than it is to improve a question. Also, if your answer isn't all that great, you can just remove it. If it's just a sentence or two, it's probably not going to be missed amongst the other answers, so make it a comment and move on, or add more details. :) An answer is just a leaf on the tree, whereas a question is part of the tree's roots and trunk. Answers, like those leaves, just cannot exist without the core question.

Don't get me wrong; this isn't to say answers aren't valuable. They are! But treating questions like gold may be what we need in order to encourage more question-askers to join our site.

I'll work on moving over the table and will create a separate Meta post where we can discuss it and figure this out. :)

Here is the question: How should we adapt the "What is an acceptable answer" post to fit PMSE?


I think this should be closed. As the comments to some of the existing questions have already highlighted, there isn't an answer to this question. Any advice given is open to debate, and logical disagreement.

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