I've a question related to the NPS (net promotor score). Its use is based on the scale that goes from 0 to 10, as the attachment shows. enter image description here

I'm collecting data from users with sort of feedback libraries. The user is invited to answer whith a smile (5 elements, from madness to love). So, talking about NPS:

does it make sense to you consider this chart based mapped on feelings (the one that I personally prefer)?

  • mad [DETRACTORS]
  • angry [DETRACTORS]
  • neutral [PASSIVES]
  • happy [PROMOTERS]
  • love [PROMOTERS]

or better to use this, because it reflects more the percentage / weight impact?

  • mad [DETRACTORS]
  • angry [DETRACTORS]
  • neutral [DETRACTORS]
  • happy [PASSIVES]
  • love [PROMOTERS]
  • Is this project management related? Given that you reference preferences, is this opinion based?
    – MCW
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 13:40
  • 2
    This is not about project management. This is about marketing, although if you squint really hard it could fall under product management, which is peripherally on topic.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 15:39
  • I think marketing can be related to Project Management. This info are values that can be useful in the management of a Project. Thanks for the negative vote.
    – axel
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 7:05

5 Answers 5


I think the 1-5 survey is particularly prone to bias. Not only do you have the normal bias of people being surveyed wanting to please the surveyor (and thereby being more likely to, say, answer '4' instead of '3'), you also have to deal with it being a smaller scale. One person's 'happy' is another person's 'neutral', after all.

It would probably be a better idea to go with the more common scoring method. You score from 0-10, with 9-10 being promoters, 7-8 being passive, and 0-6 being dectractors. Given the aforementioned bias, if someone, when asked 'What do you think of our product?' answers with a 5 (the numerical equivalent of a shrug and a 'meh'), that's not really a good thing.

Also, when using words, the words themselves can have subjective meanings. You obviously believe 'mad' to be worse than 'angry', but to me they're the same thing. Whereas few would argue that '3' is larger than '4'.


Only Peripherally On-Topic

First of all, this is an opinion-generating question about something other than project management, and would normally be off-topic on two fronts. However, the notion of satisfaction with deliverables is somewhat on topic, and so I'll confine my comments to that aspect.

Don't Abuse the Net Promoter Score

According to this site:

Net Promoter Score (NPS) programs ask just one quantitative question: “How likely are you to recommend this business [or product/service] to a friend or colleague?”

It's an inherently subjective question, and is largely a proxy metric for quality or fitness-for-purpose. However, it also attempts to measure "market buzz" and other intangibles.

What you're trying to do here is take a subjective proxy metric and layer a second, more indirect metric on top of that: "How does the product make you feel?" Rather than talking about the likelihood of promoting (or actively impeding) uptake in the marketplace, you've replaced the scale with a measure of various emotional responses. These are proxy metrics for proxy metrics, and as such simply create indirection.

Furthermore, your indirect metrics are ill-defined. What's the difference between similar terms such as "mad" and "angry" from the point of view of my feelings about a product? I might be unhappy with a product, but what would it take me to be angry at the product, or angry that I bought it, or mad enough that I'd want to strangle the idiot who is asking me if the product makes me "feel happy" rather than just asking if I'm happy with the product I purchased?

Next Steps

There's certainly a place for a more well-designed customer response study in marketing or product management, but this is not it. Furthermore, it's likely to be a supplement to a common scale like the Net Promoter Score, not a replacement for it.

In your modified scale, you're actually asking a different set of questions than Net Promoter is actually asking. You're asking:

  1. [Explicitly] Why would you (not) recommend the product to your friends?
  2. [Implicitly] Does the product create some sort of identifiable emotional state that our marketing department can manipulate?

In either case, you might be better off designing a follow-up survey based on valid psychometrics, rather than trying to shoe-horn your survey elements into the NPS itself.


According to this source, we can read the following

What is Net Promoter Score® (NPS)?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is defined as a metric for determining the state of a customer’s loyalty and satisfaction with a brand or product.

Classification of customers based on NPS survey response:

The data pulled from this response is an indicator of their brand loyalty and satisfaction. A customer is then classified in either of the 4 buckets, depending on response selection:

Detractor (Responses from 0-6): A customer is marked as a detractor if their response is within the range of 0-6. A brand detractor essentially means that the customer is likely to detract from your brand to a competitor to meet their product/service needs.

Once a customer has been identified as a detractor, it is highly advisable to connect with the client immediately for damage control and prevention of loss of the client.

The net promoter score is, therefore, more than just an identifier of brand promoters, but also an identifier of detractors, such that you might still have enough window to prevent revenue loss.

This is one of the core reasons to conduct periodic NPS surveys to understand the state of your clients with a simple, quick, easy to answer a question.


I think you are comparing Apples to Oranges. A team member might be mad about something in the previous sprint. However, he promotes working in that team and a promoter.

For example, if there was a conflict at the beginning of a sprint which got resolved at the end. When you ask for their feelings, he might talk about being mad. However, this "mad" is not at all indicator of him being a detractor at all for that team and the environment.

I would suggest asking the team NPS and the feelings separately. What is the need to translate the feelings into NPS?

I might be wrong and it might work in your case.

  • My question was intended over the users' perspective and opinions, not the developers' one.
    – axel
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 12:34

in the context provided I'd suggest that this scoring system is the most appropriate

  • mad [DETRACTORS]
  • angry [DETRACTORS]
  • neutral [PASSIVES]
  • happy [PROMOTERS]
  • love [PROMOTERS]

We live in an imperfect world, we need to do the best with what is available.

The reason I've chosen this answer is it accounts for Passives which the other proposal does not. Hence it more in keeping with the original 0-10 scoring. However the opinion to discard your 1-5 scoring system in favor of the larger scoring system is also valid.

  • This reads like an opinion to me, rather than a reasoned answer. Can you please provide the reasoning that brought you to your answer?
    – Sarov
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 14:59
  • 1
    Update made, hope its ok.
    – Andy L
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 14:02

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