Project Management

Working to ‘Done,’ Not on What You Have ‘To Do’

Lonnie Pacelli is an Accenture/Microsoft veteran with four decades of learnings under his belt. He frequently writes and speaks on leadership, project management, work/life balance, and disability inclusion. Reach him at [email protected] and see more at ProjectManagementAdvisor.com.


Topics: Schedule Management, Scheduling

Our son, Trevor, has worked for our company twice—once right after he graduated from college in 2015, and again in September 2021 after working three years at a non-profit. His official title is Chief Storyteller.

Since working for us, Trevor has written and published two books, re-illustrated a third, and is actively learning the publishing business. He also has a goal of writing young adult books, and as of this writing is working on his first fiction piece.

Trevor was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 6, and throughout his life has had his share of challenges. When we first hired Trevor, we were faced with how to align on goals, give him some flexibility as to how he achieved the goals, and avoid micro-managing him with frequent “What are you working on today?” requests.

To address the need, we devised something we call the “dones” process, which aligns us on long-term goals and short-term deliverables that align to the long-term goals. We have successfully been using this throughout his employment tenure, and it has proven to be effective in keeping my wife Patty and I aligned with Trevor’s work.

After I told a few colleagues about the process, I consistently heard how valuable this could be for neurotypical people, not just for people on the autism spectrum. So I wanted to explain precisely how we manage to dones…


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"The reason why worry kills more people than hard work is that more people worry than work."

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