So which side are you on- 80 or 20?

This is a guest blog post from my friend and a budding Project Manager Sanchita Bhattacharjee and along with our love of Project Management; we also happen to share our last name.

She talks about the Pareto Principle, brushes on her discovery of project management and how she plans to implement it in her life.

The other day, someone asked me about the Pareto principle and I fell from the sky!
Faintly did I hear economist Vilfredo Pareto and Juran's names in the University corridors but that's all. Never really thought I could use it one day in the work I was learning myself- yes, Project Management.  

Technically, The Pareto principle also called the 80-20 rule/Law of the vital few states that 'for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.'

What Pareto initially observed was that 80% of the land or wealth in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Not too sure if Gregor Mendel also inferred that 20% of the pea pods contribute to 80% of peas produced when he was playing with genetics in his garden:) Come to Software, even Microsoft noted that by fixing only 20% of bugs they were able to eliminate 80% of errors reported.

Interestingly when Business Schools started seeing more of it, it was concluded that actually 80% of your total sales come from 20% of your clients. So the next question comes up, how can we imply this in Project Management? A general response would be that in any project, the first 10% and last 10% of a project are the most crucial parts. In other words the Initiation and Delivery Phases will take up 80% of your time and resource.

An article I read somewhere highlights that ' 80 percent of your sales will come from 20 percent of your sales staff. 20 percent of your staff will cause 80 percent of your problems, but another 20 percent of your staff will provide 80 percent of your production. It works both ways.'  

Even the very famous management consultant Richard Koch discusses how to apply the Pareto principle in all walks of life. So here is the deal, so far all of us have heard and believed in the 'work smart' technique. Perhaps, the same is based on focusing your energy, your attention of 20% of things which really matter.  Stop being on the 80 side and keep struggling with causes which can be treated later. So first step would be to identify them. Even if you are missing out points and areas in your daily life, make sure they do NOT fall under the significant 20%. So work smart but on the right things. 

To know more read on and do not forget to mention how YOU imply the 80-20 rule in your work and in your life!

The site will be unavailable this weekend, while I and my designer friend try to upload the new design to bring in a better visual experience for you. 

(Pic Courtesy: Google Images)