I just added the question ISO structure/documentation? and one person commented it as off topic and voted down the question.

The question is about the ISO Structure, that I want it in some form to be able to include at least the ISO structure with their headings in a database. So, yes, I am asking where I can get it, but ISO is an organ which will be with us for a long time.

I don't see how this could be off topic.

Q: Is it really off topic?

(Then of course, I don't agree to exclude tool questions either, since it would be easy just to tag the question with "Tool" or "Software" and timestamps already exist, so the "date problem" wouldn't be a problem. Just that the question visitor would have to check how old it is and if still applicable. There is no other good and logic place to ask these type of questions. They need to be asked in the "environment" they belong to. Not separated from Project Management questions.)

Additionally it seems that PM Meta does not have the tag "documentation" or similar, as you have for "tools".


2 Answers 2


Project Management Stack Exchange is for questions about the field of project management; thus, questions about ISO documentation and ISO structure don't seem like things that would be on-topic here.

What's more, our site does best when there's a real, actual problem to be solved. In this case, you're looking for links to documentation, which is really something one can do with a quick Google search.

Editing is a core component of our site, so my suggestion is to edit your question and expand on your problem; make it clear why this is a project management problem/issue. Take a look at some of our upvoted questions on the site to get a feel for what we look for in questions, and also take a peek at our Help Center's List of Topics that we cover here. Hope this helps.

Of course, if your question is not about a problem in the field of project management, you might check out BrightJourney for startup-related questions. (This was the old Answers OnStartups site, which was shutdown.)

  • ISO is very important when it comes to Business Processes, so if you work with a project that affect the way of working, i.e. processes, which are linked to ISO standards (9001, 14001 a.s.o.). Since Applications/Systems are supporting Processes, all IT projects also affecting Processes, so all Process Improvement/Development projects and IT Projects are actually required to link New/Edited processes to the ISO structure.
    – Pixic
    Feb 19, 2014 at 11:41
  • Meaning, if generic questions about ISO Standards and ISO Structures is Off-topic, so is all BPI/BPD and IT projects. Are they really?
    – Pixic
    Feb 19, 2014 at 11:47
  • Ok...anyway...I'll remove it
    – Pixic
    Feb 19, 2014 at 11:53
  • 1
    @Pixic Your logic is suspect. Many project managers use sticky notes; that does not mean that the manufacturing process of paper or glue is on-topic, nor does it mean that price-shopping office superstores for the "best" place to buy sticky notes is fundamentally a project management question.
    – Todd A. Jacobs Mod
    Feb 24, 2014 at 23:47
  • @CodeGnome You don't understand what I mean. IS/IT projects, i.e projects regarding Systems/Applications used in your processes are supporting the Business Processes. If you either change a Process OR System you will in many cases change the other. As processes should be linked to ISO Structure, it is relevant. Example: If you change from an old CAD/PDM/purchasing/procurement/... system to a new one, the reason is probably that you can work more efficient, i.e. the process is different, hence Business Process has to be changed and linked to ISO structure.
    – Pixic
    Feb 26, 2014 at 12:04
  • And why link Business Processes to ISO Structure you ask? Actually I am not sure it is a requirement from ISO, but if you have processes linked to the ISO Structure, it is much easier to find processes that is related to a specific chapter in ISO Standards. Thereby both your internal auditors and ISO auditors need less time spent on finding documentation in your BMS (Business Management System).
    – Pixic
    Feb 26, 2014 at 12:09

Q: Is [asking for free versions of for-pay resources] really off topic?

Yes, it really is off-topic. The problem is that you already know where to get the information you need, which is to buy the documentation you want from the International Organization for Standardization. The fact that you don't want to pay for it, or want a free version of it either summarized for you (off-topic as too broad) or links to free off-site versions (off-topic as a request for an off-site resource) doesn't make it on-topic for Project Management Stack Exchange.

You already possess the canonical answer to your question: the information you want is available from the ISO. Perhaps the lesson here is to avoid using standards that are locked behind a pay-wall, but that truism doesn't really give you the answer that you want or make your question any more on-topic for this site.

There are certainly documentation and standards questions that would be on-topic here on PMSE. However, your question isn't one of them, and I don't believe it can be made so even with extensive editing.

While it can be frustrating to have a question closed as off-topic, it is a learning experience rather than a punishment. Hopefully, you will continue to participate on PMSE and use the experience to ask future questions that are narrow, answerable, and allow for canonical on-site answers within the scope defined in our Help Center.

  • Closed the question almost a year ago...but thanks for reminding me to contact ISO organization. =)
    – Pixic
    Jan 22, 2015 at 1:29
  • FYI - The structure I wanted was free...see the TOC (Table Of Contents) to the left, for both ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004. (Will soon come a new for 9001, called ISO 9001:2015.) NOTE - I did called them and asked if I could get the structures, and not just taking them. =)
    – Pixic
    Jan 22, 2015 at 14:10

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