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The questions on this site seem to be heavily biased towards software project management, with an especially strong focus on agile methodologies. I assume this is because it's a StackExchange site and gets lots of cross traffic from SO, SU, and SF, but I'm worried that its narrow focus discourages program and project managers from other fields and industries from participating.

So three related questions:

  1. Do people agree the site's focus is overly constrained to software development?
  2. Is this limiting in a negative way? I suspect methodologies and advice from management of construction projects, hardware development, etc. would have much to offer software—and vice versa.
  3. What can we do to broaden the appeal of the site?
  • There are definitely non-software questions on the site, i.e. pm.stackexchange.com/questions/8879/… and pm.stackexchange.com/questions/8885/…. – Todd A. Jacobs Mar 14 '13 at 18:54
  • @CodeGnome and Adam, I've been sharing links on reddit.com/domain/pm.stackexchange.com and on twitter.com/jmort253. The two non-software examples aren't our best examples, but I was thinking if we can put together a list of some of our best, we can all share those on our respective social media platforms. Just FYI, sharing links does make a difference. I have 10 announcer badges and 2 booster badges, which equates to about 850 total unique views from people outside Stack Exchange. Just make sure to use the "share" link when sharing so you can track. :) – jmort253 Nov 23 '13 at 3:12
  • The 850 doesn't account for all of the other links I've shared that got more than the 25 unique views but not quite 300 for the silver badge, and it doesn't account for all the links with less than 25 clicks... so that number is likely higher. – jmort253 Nov 23 '13 at 3:13
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Do people agree the site's focus is overly constrained to software development?

It is a fact that majority of questions asked here are somehow related to software development, for which you have identified one of the core cause -- relation to Stack Overflow. However, I don't agree that the site focuses more on software development. I don't see anything on the site itself which shows narrow focus and may discourage users from non-IT fields to ask questions. On the contrary, site's definition states, "Beta Q&A site for project managers: development methods, documentation, personnel and resource management, time-tracking, estimation methods, success definitions, etc."

Is this limiting in a negative way? I suspect methodologies and advice from management of construction projects, hardware development, etc. would have much to offer software—and vice versa.

Surely, we need to have more participation from experienced project / program managers of non-IT industries. Software project managers can gain valuable insights from non-software project management that can be applied/adapted for software projects.

What can we do to broaden the appeal of the site?

Being a public Q&A site, Stack Exchange and site users (including mods) cannot do much other than attracting users from other domains. In the meanwhile what can we do:

  • Share interesting questions (posted on PMSE) to social / professional networks, blogs, forums, etc. This will improve site traffic and more people will get to know about the site which may also remove the 'software-only site' misconception.
  • How about slightly changing the text of "The site is about" on About & Faq pages? Move "Agile, Scrum, PRINCE2" from the middle to last position.
  • Show full site's definition on About & Faq pages.
  • On the About page, change example questions (which slides in from the right) from "What actions will you take when Iteration/Sprint ... " to a more generic one.
  • As FAQ mentions, "It's also OK to ask and answer your own question". So if you had faced any particular problem and couldn't find an appropriate answer then phrase your problem in the form of a question and post an answer yourself.

I checked 3 of the top 10 tags and found some great questions which are applicable to project management in any field, which shows that the site already has users & content from a diverse background.

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    I liked the suggestions proposed. We can discuss in our chat the best way to accomplish them. – Tiago Cardoso Mar 11 '13 at 14:15
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    Why not add something about being "framework-agnostic" in there somewhere? Just make sure we keep the focus on process. – Todd A. Jacobs Mar 11 '13 at 22:36
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From the beginning, this site has leaned towards agile and software project management, most likely due to the influence of the Stack Exchange Trilogy sites, as you mentioned.

However, the site is open to all aspects of project management. Additionally, some of our top users have run projects outside of software project management. For instance, I believe David Espina has worked on government and construction projects.

there is also another user who I recall mentioning works on government projects, but I can't recall who.

To expand the scope, I suggest letting others know the site is here, what Stack Exchange is about, and that they should try posting their questions here.

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