Dan Keller's System of Management by To-Do List

  1. The list is written large on one of those huge post-its and stuck to a wall in plain view.
  2. In a meeting of worker and manager, objectives and tasks are discussed. WORKER* writes the to-do list items in own words and thus buys-in.
  3. Each item consists of:
    • description
    • deadline
    • milestones and dates (checkpoints)
    • definition of deliverables (how we'll know they are complete)

  4. Manager meets with worker at checkpoints and deadlines. MANAGER* decides whether milestone and completion criteria are satisfied and crosses off items if so.

* These are the distinguishing features of this system. In traditional systems, the MANAGER creates the items and the WORKER crosses them off. In this system, those roles are reversed. It gets buy-in from the worker and closure for the manager.