We all love Project Management Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!


My evaluation methodology remains the same: copy the text of the question and do a google search; look for the first non-pm answer and determine if it is better or worse than the given answer. Then I look at what value the Q*A have for future reference - this is the goal of SE as I understand it. Are there glaring omissions? Does the answer provide value above and beyond the literal interpretation of the question?

What are the limitations of 'to-do' lists?

I recuse myself.

During a sprint, should we try to achieve 100% user story completion or 100% productivity

Excellent The first two pages of the google search are all pm.stackexchange.com. The first result that is not SE really isn’t relevant to the question. I believe that the SE answer is adequate. Reviewing the answer, I believe it adds more than google could. It helps contextualize the answer, and corrects assumptions.

How do I handle user stories and burn down charts?

Excellent The second answer is from a marketing website; although the answer is unusually good for marketing, the PM answer is neutral and would get the nod on that basis. (I’m not disrespecting marketing writers, just acknowledging that a neutral answer will almost always be better than a product specific answer.) The PM:se answer also addresses some underlying assumptions that I think are very valuable.

Schedule & Customer Blame

Satisfactory - I didn’t do a google search on this one because the question is so badly titled, and quite frankly, I think it is a bad question. I don’t have enough information to write an answer, and I’m not confident that the answer is relevant to the question. The answer makes some assumptions and advises the OP to communicate more often. That’s a valid approach. OP specifically asked for contract language, which the answer did not provide. Nothing wrong with the answer, but I doubt it will be an invaluable reference for future ages.

Project leadership of engineering team

Excellent Google links to a set of linkedin profiles of engineering project leads, and to wikipedia. Neither of which will really help the OP. On the other hand, this isn’t a project management question - Who should lead” is a functional management question. Answer steps up and examines the problem and provides some detailed analysis & advice. I’m going to give this an excellent because I think it can serve as a reference for related questions.
Other answers add additional value concerning cultural context, which I think is more than you’re going to get from other resources.

How can I effectively split a team into smaller teams?

satisfactory Again, that’s the best we could hope for here. The question isn’t about project management, it is about business dynamics and psychology. Two people attempted to provide an answer, OP accepted neither.

How to monitor team members activity and effectiveness?

Satisfactory Another question that should have been closed; this isn’t a question about project management, but about functional management. It is a request for software recommendations and should have been closed on that basis. We left it open because it could be about process and about metrics, which are in scope. No reason to do a google search on this - it would only mislead because the question is out of scope. The answer acknowledges that it is a shot in the dark due to the breadth of the question.

How does the TFS 2012 burndown work for tasks created and worked on in the same day?

excellent Please expand acronyms. I don't work with TFS, and the reference value is much higher if you expand your acronyms. (I think someone has finally added a tag wiki for this, and I’m very grateful to whoever that was).

This is a very tool specific question; the answer appears to come from the development team for that tool (although the individual failed to disclose affiliation, I think the utility of the answer is sufficient to excuse the omission).
I reluctantly have to grant the answer excellent because the answer not only discloses the bug, but a number of workarounds, and explores the assumptions. This is the kind of thing you won’t find randomly on google.

Agile “user story” for a user-less project

Excellent No google search needed. OP admits that they are new to agile, and are confused. Google won’t help with that. Answer does help with that, and provides some useful guidance on how to rethink the question and problem so that it will lead to an answer.

Unable to schedule a 4-hour task completed over 2 days in Gantt Chart

Satisfactory OP is happy with the answer, and it is a good answer, but we get a lot of questions about this topic. MS-project does a crappy job of explaining scheduling assumptions. It isn’t easy (which is why we have a separate schedule management professional certification). But I’d like to see an answer that could be pointed to as general reference. The specific formulation of the question won’t produce anything useful on google, but there are related questions that would.

Observations * We have a problem with question scope. We have lots of questions about functional management. We should either consistently close them, or alter the help center to permit them (perhaps consistently tagging them?)

  • We're good when OP needs more than a simple answer - context, rephrasing, reformulation, etc.

  • We're surprisingly good at specific tool based questions.

We're just good.


Final Results

Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 0, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 0, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: -1 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 4, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: -2 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 2)

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