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Pareto Law – 80-20 Project Management Rule

By Expert Author: johnsmith


In the year 1906, an Italian economist was creating a mathematical formula for describing the wealth distribution in his country. He found in his search that 20% of his countrymen held 80% of the wealth. Later, in the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M Juran erroneously assigned the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, and called it Pareto’s Principle. Though misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is now popularly known, it had been proven to be a very effective tool to help you manage well.

Different Interpretation of the Law

This 80-20 rule can be interpreted in many different ways. Some of more popular interpretations are that 80% of effort is placed on the 20% of a project. Meaning to say in a given project if the deliverables are set at 100%, then it has been proven universally that the user usage is just 20% of the project output. Even though a project’s actual usage is just 20% the tiresome 80% also needs to be done.

Alternatively, it can be interpreted that 20% effort can get the 80% of the project output. In this case, the least effort for maximum output makes for a well-run project. Sometimes the most vital portion of a project could be accomplished with just clocking in 20% effort. Meaning to say the remaining 20% of the project takes a longer and grinding effort of the team to complete.

In both the interpretations, there is something that speaks about the effort put by a team to complete the project. A good manager is someone who is able to balance the least and the most efforts with proper

scheduling of individual sub-tasks.

Pareto’s Law in Software Industry
The beta version of Software has a load of core programming and ancillary programming. The core programming takes a lot of effort and major portion of midnight oil is spent on getting that architectural structure in proper order.

Initially, when the project is in the beginning stage, the Research and Development part of the project might take the most of the assigned time for the project completion. But a well-researched project usually charts out the various requirements and potholes that it might face during the production time. A good manager is able to take required precautions to avert it with reduced loss of time.

So the 80% of project efforts goes into Researching that would reduce the production time. But the efforts for the remaining part of software development can be easily tide over with increase speed in creating modules based on core research points.

Effective Use of the Pareto’s Law

The main use of Pareto’s Law is to concentrate on the 20% of the most important part of the project so that, it is on-track and in-time. Many products that came out by using the 80-20 rule has been able to establish that use least vital time to achieve important and big time product output result. A PMP Exam Review Course covers about various schedules and project timelines that helps a Manager. A good manager should focus on the 20% important project factors to make sure, the output meets the customer requirements with least time and effort.

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