Project Management

Pareto's Principle (Part 2)

Richard L. Diamond & Jennifer S. Diamond

In our previous installment, we looked at the importance of the rule.


Right Approach

So how does the "80/20" rule work here?


First off, you do have to start with 100 percent to use it. So gather requirements! All of them! No filtering or judgement at the start. Open the dialogue, gather requirements and let users make the business case for each one. IT's role here is to listen, understand and capture. Providing a service in this way makes the whole thing positive for users, who get to explain what they want and ensure that IS is listening to them--for a change!


IT comes away with a complete understanding of the users' vision. From here, IT builds preliminary designs of the technical solution to deliver the features the vision includes. The design is the full court press of database designs, integration requirements, user interface designs, functional designs and technical specs.


Before you argue that this is a lot of investment for a solution that will never be built, recognize its immeasureable value.


From this design, IT has defined EXACTLY where which requirements contribute complexity. Causes and drivers of complexity give a fact-based cost to the benefit the users defined, feature by feature.


Armed with this information, IT can put together two design scenarios. Now before a …

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Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.

- Frank Leahy