When decisions have to be made I tend to automatically go with the most likely or the least likely outcome scenario and the view from the top rail on the fence usually shows solid ground on both sides. Applying the 80/20 rule* to most situations really makes sense to me. As we gain knowledge and experience in a targeted area, chances are we will eventually make enough correct decisions to equal 80% overall.
The rule applies to political and societal issues, too. There are always about 10% of people with an extreme view and 10% on the opposite extreme position. That leaves 80% hanging out shuffling around tripping over each other in the middle of the road. I have, also, observed the extreme 10% on each end never seem to grease their squeaky wheels.
However, if the 80/20 rule formula is about Dr. Juran’s “vital few and trivial many”, and 20 percent of my productivity produces 80 percent of my results… I might have to give up surfing on the web, checking Facebook, reading as many books and making purely social contacts.
Spending my time on 80% of my trivial pursuits and scheduling days to fill with 20% productivity does have a certain appeal. Sounds like a healthy balance to me and I might become really productive.
*Pareto’s Principle – The 80/20 Rule
“In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth…………..
After Pareto made his observation and created his formula, many others observed similar phenomena in their own areas of expertise. Quality Management pioneer, Dr. Joseph Juran, working in the US in the 1930s and 40s recognized a universal principle he called the “vital few and trivial many” and reduced it to writing.”
F. John Reh
©2011 Susan Kendall. All rights reserved.