Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Pareto's Principle and it's Application

Hello everyone,

So today I wanted to talk about Pareto's Principle or the 20/80 rule as it is known often as. This is a concept that can help guide your work - be it in game development or any other area. It was developed by Vilfredo Pareto - an economist, but it's application goes further than just economics. Look at it as - a concentrated approach to 20% key elements will yield 80% of the results; and vice versa, 80% of the elements will yield a measly 20% of the results. 

You can apply it in various forms. 20% of customers yield 80% of your revenue. 20% of bugs in your software cause 80% of the crashes and frustrations. 20% of the content in your game will yield 80% of the enjoyment customers will likely talk about and love. Now this isn't to say it's completely accurate and you should ignore 80% of the rest of whatever your doing, but making sure you focus on the more prioritised 20% can mean the difference when you are limited by time, budget and energy. 

A couple of weeks ago we spoke on the concept of concentrating your focus - this builds upon that. Instead of focusing on the 80% of things that will likely achieve very little in your goals - it is better to focus more intently on the 20% of things that will likely achieve the majority of your goals. I'm sure there are ways to determine what you could quantitatively say what 20% refers to in actual metrics but I think the true value to gain from this is more about understanding that some things need higher precedence over others.

I'm sure you can apply this to most if not all situations given enough understanding of it - even in your personal life. I find that 20% of my day often yields 80% of the results I wanted to achieve on that day - in like studying, practicing, thinking and so on. At university - after 3 years, a portion of the things I am taught are infinitely more valuable to me personally than the other majority. This isn't because what they teach us isn't useful or valuable - but I can apply this principle and understand what elements are extremely useful to me and which aren't. 

I think this principle can be very useful - especially when things seem to be overwhelming. You can use this to try to nail down to the real priorities and relax a bit. You can concentrate your effort, time and money into the work that can yield the highest possible outcome. Needless to say - identifying what is the 20% and what is the 80% takes practice - but with time and patience, it's not impossible to grasp. If you think this doesn't work very well for you - than you can simply try something else. After all the beautiful part of experimentation in these areas is seeing what works wonders for you and what doesn't - so you can more effectively achieve what you want to achieve!

Until next time,

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