This reminds me of my hero of project management, Tom DeMarco.
His approach was that every task is either 100% complete or 0% complete.
No task is ever “80%” complete. If you really think that it is, then break it down into smaller tasks, 80% of which are 100% complete and 20% of which are 0% complete. This way it becomes much clearer what is complete and what remains to be done.
I have never allowed anyone to report anything as n% complete for values other than 0 or 100. As soon as someone does, that’s a pretty good sign that they may be confusing motion with action.
Remember an old discussion with Jim…
Me: Jim, how are we doing with getting Ansys ported?
Jim: Great, I have a bunch of calls into them.
Me: How are we doing on the Nastran port?
Jim: Wonderful, they said they'll get back to me next month.
Me: How about Dyna 3D?
Jim: It's going great, we're on their list.
Now imagine how much different that conversation would be if each question started with, “Which tasks are complete and which tasks are incomplete?”