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Nov 27, 201209:52 AMForward HR

with Diane Hamilton and Nilesh Patel

Applying the 80/20 rule

Applying the 80/20 rule

(page 1 of 2)

You’ve heard the phrase “the devil is in the details” – the idea that the details are important, that whatever one does should be done thoroughly.

I’ve been knee deep in details of late. I have been writing an e-book and have spent a great deal of time pulling together the content, writing the various chapters, and updating the tools and templates. Now I’m in the detail stage. Editing, refining, setting up the associated Web pages, marketing, etc. I have definitely been overwhelmed with the details.

While I am a big believer in getting the details right, I was reminded of the 80/20 rule during this final stage of production – the principle of the “vital few and trivial many.” The 80/20 rule suggests that in anything, a few details (20%) are vital and many (80%) are trivial. And it definitely applies in my case. I accomplished 80% of the results with 20% of the effort. Now I am spending 80% of my time on the 20% that remains.

The value of the 80/20 rule for a leader is that it reminds you to focus on the 20% that matters. The 80/20 rule is at work constantly in our management and leadership roles:

  • 20% of your employees cause 80% of the problems.
  • 20% of the work consumes 80% of the time and resources.
  • 20% of your staff produces 80% of the results.

Old to new | New to old
Nov 28, 2012 06:54 am
 Posted by  Your 80-20 Assistant

Diane, reading this made my day! As a career administrative professional with over 30 years' experience, I've experienced time and again--and watched many others do the same--the daily struggle to stay focused on "the best use of my time right now." Without goals to guide us, making that decision on a regular basis is impossible. The Pareto Priciple, which your examples make crystal clear, has fascinated and guided me to the point where it was an easy decision to incorporate "80-20" into the name of my virtual assistance business. Thanks for reminding us that how we work is just as important as what work we do.
Nancy McCulley

Aug 20, 2013 08:52 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Diane,

I looked into your 3 paradigmes based on The Pareto Priciple:-

•20% of your employees cause 80% of the problems.
•20% of the work consumes 80% of the time and resources.
•20% of your staff produces 80% of the results.

The first two are understandable but I'm not fully agree withe the 3rd one. Can you elaborate or present some data to establish that 20% of your staff produces 80% of the results? From my experiance this goes against the philosophy of team work.


Regards
Rajeev

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About This Blog

 Diane Hamilton, PCC, SPHR, is the owner and founder of Calibra, a coaching and consulting firm focused on maximizing leadership potential. Nilesh Patel is the principal attorney of the Mahadev Law Group, LLC, which focuses on human resources and employment law issues for organizations. He can be reached at npp@mahalawgroup.com. Both bloggers are members of Wisconsin SHRM, which is dedicated to being the state leader in HR management and the premier source for HR expertise and resources. More information can be found at www.wishrm.org. You can follow the WI SHRM blog at http://wishrm.wordpress.com.

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