Partial Completion is the pattern for today. In design world it is described as:
Can you show that the first stage of a process has been completed already, to give users confidence to do the next?
Pre-filled details such as delivery addresses can be an effective way of speeding up an order process and reducing ‘shopping cart abandonment’
In managerial world this pattern is very useful when you have to pass through natural resistance of people when doing something new. By nature humans afraid of leaving comfort zone. And when they have to pass that barrier they don’t know how to start and what to do.
Partial completion is the way to pass it. You provide a guidance and feeling that this is not a full size greenfield work. Partially completed work is psychologically accepted as a clear and easy to do. It might be just a template with several sentences but it helps.
As an example think about a case when you are mentoring interns. You have passed all necessary initial education and adaptation. It is the right time to give them a real world task. However, usually they are stalled with it. Even if they are 100% ready to implement it.
In case if they have to prepare a report, business plan or another document just give them a template with some sentences in it. When they are back with questions tell them that they shouldn’t care about the whole task and should populate it section by section. That will give them feeling that you control the flow and share responsibility. Surprisingly, they’ll do it quick and easy.
Disclaimer: Be sure that people are ready for the work. If they are not — partial completion doesn’t work. Another possible issue is that pre-filled information is accepted as 100% true while it might be not.
Inspired by: http://www.danlockton.com/dwi/Partial_completion