Why Understanding Pareto is So Important

One of the most important lessons I learned, one that has helped me really boost my performance, and also that of my teams in Pareto.

It’s such a simple concept and yet so powerful.

The Pareto Law, or the 80/20 Rule as it is also more commonly known, is the rule that says that 20 % of our effort delivers 80% of our output.

This means that it also costs us 80% of our effort to deliver the last 20%.

Now whilst for some things, like Moon landings, you need to have 100% delivered, in my experience for most things 80% is good enough.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that often the last 20% are the bells and whistles that are nice, but not really needed.

Once you understand this and can improve your skills in identifying the right 80% this, this will dramatically help you to boost your productivity ad output.

Now I have to say, not being a perfectionist is a real help here, because leveraging Pareto to boost our outputs requires us to be able to be happy with good enough.

Now I know that’s tough for some people, but as my old boss used to say don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough.

In the chart below I show the impact that letting go of this need to deliver 100% all the time can have.

If you really work at this and master it, it can help you boost your performance by 400%.

I was inspired to share this today as I have been running a class on blogging, working with clients to help them write 4-5 blogs rather than just 1 blog per week.

Interestingly, it takes people, on average, 3 hours to write a blog, and on the course, I help people get this down to 30 minutes. We do that by focusing on what’s important, and understanding what’s good enough, and when you can do that then it’s easy to write 4-5 blogs in the same time as it took you to write just one.

5 blogs x 30 mins = 2.5 hours versus 1 blog x 3hrs = 3hrs

And as one of my clients said, “I need to remember that my 80% is usually the same as other people’s 100%.”

In fact, this is true for all of us. I see this in many businesses, departments, and especially on projects, I would say that this search for the elusive, and often not needed 100%, is a key contributor to projects being over late and/or over budget.

Using this approach, and working to make it part of the culture has helped me to improve operational performance by 50-500 percent, and deliver complex projects on time and within budget, over ad over again.

It’s also worth noting the impact that this has on employee engagement, when you can get your teams focused on what’s important and get them delivering like this it really helps to boost their engagement ad retention.

If you’d like to learn more about how mastering Pareto can help boost you or your team’s performance then click this link and let’s set up a time to talk.