I'm just curious as to if there have been changed in topicality recently, after I saw this question had been migrated from here to PM.SE:

Should a group of three students working on a big programming project have a leader?

There are a few ways to cut this. I organized them in order of my personal preference.

  1. It's on-topic both here and at PM.SE. Migration {should | should not} (aside: my preference is should not have been migrated, especially since PM is not out of beta yet) have happened. It's a project management question, but software project management is inherently different than managing projects in other engineering disciplines or even cross-disciplinary projects. Since the main focus was software, it's on-topic here. However, since it has to do with subject matter in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (mainly Project Human Resources Management), it's also on-topic at PM.

  2. It's on-topic here and should not have been migrated. One of the on-topic categories is "software engineering". My take on that is that the formal definition of what is included in software engineering should come from the SWEBOK. Software engineering management is a knowledge area in the SWEBOK, and therefore is on-topic here.

  3. It's on topic here and should not have been migrated. The project, based on the question, is specifically and exclusively a software project. There was no mention of other engineering or business disciplines. The P.SE FAQ states that conceptual questions about software development are on-topic.

  4. It's off-topic here because it's relevant to more than just software engineers. Although software projects are different than other projects, if and how to choose a leader remains the same. It's a cross-cutting PM concern of interest to all PMs, software or otherwise.

  5. It's off-topic here because the question was worded to generally. Although it was a software project, no key concerns about developing software were identified. Unless there is some kind of demonstration of relevance to exclusively software, it should be moved.

I'm not sure who moved it, but these are what I see as the major possibilities for dealing with this question are. The only one I don't like is 5 - if that's the case, could the question have been edited to be made more specific?

I suppose this does prompt another question, though. How do we deal with a site like PM that's in such overlap with a huge chunk of relevant questions? It might be something to look at in the future.

1 Answer 1


I was the one who migrated it after a quick consultation with the other moderators. As an aside, you can click on the "programmers.stackexchange.com" link in the "Migrated from" banner on PM to get back to the original question here.

The reasons for the migration were a combination of #1, #4, and #5 on your list. The question (while mentioning a software team) did not focus on software development aspects of the project and the answers did not provide any information that was uniquely related to software development either.

It was a general question that could be summarized as "should we have a project manager/leader?". The type of project appeared to be irrelevant, and I think that made the question a better fit for PM than for us.

Far as editing the question to be more specific, I'm not sure how anyone except the OP could do it. We could've asked the OP to edit it, I suppose, but I'm not sure what that'd gain us when the question as it stands is pretty good as is, but simply better for another site.

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    "The type of project appeared to be irrelevant" ...disagree, software is unique and the answers to this will be different than whether or not you need a project leader to help you get happy meals out during the dinner rush.
    – user29776
    Aug 29, 2011 at 18:10
  • @kekekela In this particular case, the answers were pretty generic.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 29, 2011 at 18:16
  • I'm not as familiar with this site. On SO, on-topic questions aren't penalized for bad answers, I didn't realize it was not like that here.
    – user29776
    Aug 29, 2011 at 18:19
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    @kekekela Err, questions that apply to more than just the programming profession are off topic here except when there is a unique perspective that programmers can offer. None of the answers offered such perspective in this case and the question was a better fit for another site. Migrating a question to its correct audience is not penalizing it.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 29, 2011 at 18:33
  • Errr, I didn't realize you had summarily decided that there could be no unique programmer perspective brought to that question, I guess that just seems so completely incorrect that I overlooked it as a possiblity. Also, you can seize on "penalized" if you're trying to score semantic points I guess, but I'm pretty sure you understood that my point is that this site is kicking questions based off of what the answers look like, where this practice is consistently refuted on SO and the questions are left to stand on their own merits.
    – user29776
    Aug 29, 2011 at 19:14
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    @kekekela Programmers and SO are two different sites, with different scopes and occasionally different policies. Looking at the answers a question gets allows us to let more questions stay open when they would otherwise have to be closed as too generic.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Aug 29, 2011 at 19:18
  • Yep, you've come full circle to my original point: "I'm not as familiar with this site. On SO ...I didn't realize it was not like that here."
    – user29776
    Aug 29, 2011 at 19:20
  • @kekekela All SE sites have the same criteria for borderline questions: if a question could go either way, the next criteria is to look at is the type of answers it's getting. If Q&A pair as a whole is off-topic, the question is off-topic. SO moderators do the same thing when prompted, but they have far more questions to go through than us.
    – user8
    Aug 29, 2011 at 19:22

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