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This question smells like it out to live on https://math.stackexchange.com/.

It might be on-topic because:

  1. It's likely to come up as a question in the course of a PM's career.
  2. They are more likely to visit this site for the answer than a site dedicated to second order derivatives and ring theory.
  3. Fellow PM's are more likely to see the context the question was asked in & tie it back to management practices that may be related.

It might be off-topic because

  1. It's more likely to get a complete, accurate and timely response from the math community
  2. It's a math question
  3. You can google the answer in 5 seconds
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By carefully wording a question, it can be architected to fit within the guidelines of the FAQ:

Project Management - Stack Exchange is for project managers: development methods, documentation, personnel and resource management, time-tracking, estimation methods, success definitions, etc

If the question can be asked within the context of one or more of the above criteria, it makes a stronger case for accepting the question.

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

The question should also contain details about the specific problem being faced. The question looks like it was deleted, so I can't see the details, but if it was a purely academic question that gave no context about why the beta distribution and the triangle distribution are being considered, then it may be a candidate for being off-topic.

For questions that you think may be off-topic, my suggestion is to always give some background on the specific problem being encountered and how the problem is impacting you as a project manager.

  • Good advice! I'll take it. – DaveParillo Mar 1 '11 at 4:18
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I think the off-topic arguments are more strong, but using the on-topic arguments you can phrase a similar question on the PM tone by adding more PM context information.

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