How to apply Pareto principle in successful projects

Jennifer Betts 0


The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a commonly-used principle to help guide decision-making. Many consider it to be one of the most important and influential business management principles that is used by successful people in their day-to-day work. The Pareto principle says that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes; in other words, you get more output from 20% of your input. This simple, powerful rule applies to a variety of scenarios, including time management, income generation, decision making, and many others. Use it in day-to-day life to get better results and help reduce problems later on. If you are involved in project management, you have heard about the Pareto principle. How important is this principle?

I am going to discuss the Pareto principle. What is it? Who gave Pareto the principle? Why is it so important to a project’s success? And how to apply it to successful projects? So, don’t just scroll through it, read it carefully. I hope you will get more out of it.

What is the Pareto principle?

The Pareto principle is a law that states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from just 20% of the causes. On the surface, this principle may appear to be counter-intuitive; surely not everything can fit into such neat categories? But in reality, it’s quite simple: Just think about how much time you spend actually working on your business as opposed to maintaining it. Or even how long you spend working on one aspect of your business compared with others. The Pareto principle is named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He gave this principle in 1896. This principle is also known as “The law of the vital few” and “The principle of factory sparsity”. Later, in 1950, Mr. Joseph Juran described this principle as a universal phenomenon.

How to apply the Pareto principle to successful projects?

The principle can be applied to many aspects of life, including project management and work performance. It can help you identify which tasks give you the biggest bang for your buck, so you can focus on them instead of wasting time on trivial matters that don’t really matter in the long run.

Here are some ways to apply the pareto principle to successful project management:

Examine Your Projects

To start applying this concept to your projects, you first need to analyse them. Look at your top 20%, then look at what goes into those projects. What tasks do they have in common? Maybe it’s just one or two things that take up most of the time for each project. Perhaps those tasks are unnecessary for some projects but essential for others. If so, then you know where to start focusing your efforts on improving efficiency.

Identify your top tasks (the “vital few”)

You need to start by identifying what makes up a successful project so that you can determine which tasks are vital for its success. This might include things like: meeting deadlines; completing required deliverables on time and within budget; etc.

Access the time taken by each task

Assess how much time each task takes up in relation to all the other tasks involved in the project. Analyze the task, which can impact your project’s success greatly, and add this task to the top of your priority list.

Identify opportunities

Identify opportunities for improvement by analysing how much time each employee spends on his or her work and how much time each task takes to complete. If an employee spends most of his time working on one task, then he may be able to complete several other tasks if he focuses more attention on them.

However, once you identify these high-value tasks, then it’s time to prioritise them according to their potential return on investment (ROI). This way, when things get busy and priorities shift throughout the course of your project’s life cycle (i.e., as deadlines approach), you’ll still be able to see what activities are most likely going to provide maximum value for little effort expended on your part—which means less stress and more successful project management.

Pareto analysis

Pareto analysis can be used for almost any type of project and in many different industries, but it’s particularly useful for analysing data from projects that have already been completed. This means you can use pareto analysis during the planning stage of a project and again after the project has been completed.

To conduct a Pareto analysis, start by determining what factors will help you define “success.” You may want to include things like profitability or quality of work—whatever makes sense for your business or industry. Next, list all possible causes for each factor that makes up success (e.g., marketing, sales). Then rank each cause according to its importance in contributing toward success (e.g., if marketing contributes more than sales, then rank marketing higher on the list). Finally, calculate the effects each cause has on overall success using percentages or dollar amounts (e.g., if marketing contributes $50k more than sales, then rank marketing higher on the list).


Pareto analysis is a management chart for balancing the distribution of project value and resources. Pareto analysis is based on Pareto principle, also known as 80/20 rule in which 80% of effects come from 20% causes. When we apply Pareto principle to our project, we can allocate resources to those few cause factors that create the most benefit for our projects.

By applying Pareto diagram methodology in right place and right time we can improve our business effectiveness. The more effective work that you do, the more successful person you will become. So, use Pareto Principle to start improving your projects. Green Project Consulting can help you in making your projects successful with the help of Pareto Principle.