Pareto Chart in Project Management and PMP Exam

You have heard the name of the Pareto principle a lot.  If we ask briefly what it is, we can call it a statistical principle stating that around 80% of the effects of many events are considered to take place as a direct or indirect result of around 20% of the causes. 

In project management sometimes there is a need to order works in a relative position in your project's schedule. You should establish this order according to the importance. To determine the importance level, finding root causes is essential. 

Pareto chart is another concept that we can come across. We have a graphic in a bar format here. By analyzing it we can see the how many times and how often some specific obstacles emerge in a project. This is a very useful information. Also we can see the extent of the difficulty. In project management, we can use this chart effectively to find out which problems and difficulties will be under our focus.

I also think the Pareto principle can be a useful way of thinking about problems in general. If you are facing a problem, as a project manager will often find, you can use the Pareto principle to identify the root causes of the problem. Once you know the root causes, you can start developing solutions to address the most important issues. Pareto chart is used in all of them. It's an easily understandable chart but that does not mean it is useless. Those understandable ones are my favorite project tools anyway.

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1: CZ

I remember the PAreto principle from lectures. However, what this principle asserts seems a bit trivial to me. So how can we be sure that 80 percent is caused by 20 percent reasons. Has Pareto done enough analysis on this?

2: Saomi

I'm curious to know how you've personally used the Pareto Principle in your projects or daily life? Have you come across any unexpected applications or unique insights while applying this principle? Your firsthand experiences would be truly valuable to learn from.