This question, https://pm.stackexchange.com/questions/9563/common-project-management-challenges, was placed on hold as it violates the rules of the site in terms of generating opinions and lists versus facts, references, and some sort of true answer. However, it is a great question! There is so much evidence out there that we collectively continue to make the same mistakes over and over, as if we collect our lessons learned, file them, and forget about them, then set up our next project designed to create the same mistakes again.

This type of question likely has no real answer derived by some sort of deduction but does have plenty of answers that can be very beneficial based on opinions, induction, theories, and even speculation. Maybe a best answer cannot be chosen with this type of question but it would be very interesting to see the points generated by the opinions of folks who participate here.

I thought about how I might be able to edit the question over the last several days but found I can't do it without ruining the essence of the question.

Any ideas how to proceed from anyone on how to proceed with this so we can benefit from the opinions of this group?

  • Hey David, sorry for the long answer. To summarize, I'm wondering if we can use the list question as a means of having our regular or top users come up with some more specific questions that each highlight a different common PM challenge, and then summarize all of them in the list post each as a separate answer? Please read my meta answer for a more in-depth explanation.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 3:14
  • Ultimately, it's really a question about problems one might face rather than a question about a problem the OP is actually facing. This makes it inherently too broad to ever be useful in a Q&A format.
    – Todd A. Jacobs Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 19:24
  • That almost implies then that risk management type questions are too broad. But I don't think you meant that. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


You've mentioned on different occasions that the most important thing to focus on here on our site is the learning aspect of it. I agree, and one of the things I've learned is to focus more on how questions can fit our site in support of that learning and to find ways to make oddly-formatted questions work.

There's opportunities for many more great questions than just this one

But in this particular example, allowing this question would encourage us to lose a lot of really great opportunities to expand the content beyond just a single post, and because of it's list-nature, it's quite possible we could end up with 10 or more answers, and the more information added to an SE post, the noisier it becomes. Stack Exchange generally wins over traditional forums because the platform encourages more conciseness. What makes Stack Exchange so helpful is how quickly we can find answers. In just a moment, I can look at a Stack Exchange post and ask "Does this help me" and either read the answers, or move on to another Google search.

I agree that there's something good here, but I'm not sure it should be just one post. Instead, this represents a great opportunity to experiment with the self answering features of Stack Exchange.

Single question with many meh answers, or many questions with few outstanding answers?

David, with your experience, I know you can come up with several really detailed and challenging problems you faced as a project manager. If you asked even just one of them as if you were facing the problem for the first time and didn't know the answers, we'd get a lot of really great responses, even if you self-answered the question.

What's more, when we ask specific questions, they're easier to find from Google searches, and all answers apply to the problem faced. Then it becomes much easier to vote the best answers to the top, taking full advantage of the Q&A model. Aside from that, we get 5, 6, or 7 more unique posts -- instead of just one post -- that improve our site's SEO and help more people find us and see us as an expert resource.

What about experimenting with the list question as a way to produce more detailed questions?

I'm wondering if we can't somehow combine this approach. We do have a community wiki feature, and many sites use community wiki as a table of contents that point to other, relevant posts. Deer Hunter started something similar here in our meta.

So I wonder, if we asked folks to ask a good, on-topic question about a problem we faced, collect some answers, and then link those problems back to a single Common PM challenges post, do you think that would be helpful? The answers from all the different questions could even be summarized in the community wiki answer for those who want that birds-eye view.

I must say that I think extending the PM Challenges theme to weeks or months could give top users some ideas for asking great questions and inject some new life and energy into our community. The regulars here all have a story, and this could be a way to let them tell that story.

If that seems like too much work, should we reopen the post as community wiki as an experiment and just see how things go, but perhaps put in some guidelines that we should post just one problem per post so it's easier to vote the best to the top? If nothing else, we could then try to use those broad answers as a springboard into asking some more specific questions about real problems if anyone feels up for it.

Please let me know what you think. Also, don't forget you have reopen votes for cases where you disagree with one of these closures. I encourage everyone with 500+ rep to use both close votes as well as reopen votes. Both are important here. :)

For reference, here is the original post:

Common Project Management challenges?

In your experience could you please list top 3 to 5 Commonly known Project Management challenges and known or best solutions for these challenges. These might be helpful to every one who is managing projects day in and out.

  • 1
    Great explanation! I can see your point on this. Let me see if I can create a detailed question and link it back. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 10:24
  • @jmort253 what happened to the post after your comments: "should we reopen the post as community wiki as an experiment" Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 12:30
  • @AzizShaikh - It looks like it was automatically deleted by the Community bot. I updated my post with the contents of the post, for reference purposes.
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 0:17

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