Commit to a Time

Sneaky Management Trick #106: ask the employee to name the date when a task will be completed. If s/he mentions events which might arise and cause a delay, say "OK, taking all of that into account, when will you be finished?" Then wait for the answer with pen poised over calendar to write it down. When people pick their own due date for a project it makes them feel far more committed to completing the job on time. And when, as we all do, they discover that they've been too optimistic, they learn to estimate better.

Worker Counter-Trick: refuse to name a date—but agree on a deadline for choosing one, e.g., "I can't estimate right now, but I'll be able to next Wednesday, Boss!"

(cf. BetterFasterCheaper (1999-05-29), ...) - ^z - 2010-08-27