Archive for the ‘Time management’ Category

Pareto principle and elimination

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

From Wikipedia:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

I saw couple of articles which mention Pareto principle in the context that you should keep (continue doing) just 20% of activities and still you will get 80% of results.

Two important notes on the pareto priciple :

1. It it works only if events are independent.

2. It works only if resulting effect is measurable.

As example, some hypothetical software engineer have following activities:

– develop software

– research

– discuss what needs to be done

– break down complex tasks to simple tasks

– setting up build envinronment

– defining practices

– mentoring junior developers

In the case, if I will eliminate everything what doesn’t produce a product directly than most likely it will cause:

a) a jump in what we measure (as example lines of code)

b) enormous overall decrease in company productivity

P.S. I am all for elimination of unproductive tasks. However, I am against elimination of 80% tasks just for the sake of elimination.

And couple of interesting links:

Setting up Jenkins on Amazon EC2

Handwriting vs Typing