The 80-20 rule
Singapore, 12th May 2010
Arrived back in Singapore this morning after a hectic two days in India…5 hours sleep over two nights…not really ideal…coffee has kept me going 🙂
As so often in life simple and great things are generally the result of a lot of sweat. To appreciate a simple and yet beautiful design we go through heaps of complicated and sophisticated creations first…doesn’t that sound familiar? We spend a lot of time and resources with sometimes minimal results, 80% effort, 20% result…
This comes back in many other areas of our work. For instance you may find out that 80% of your turn over or profit comes from 20% of your clients…so probably worth focusing on and nurturing those clients, right? Likewise you may find that 80% of your project headaches are caused by only 20% of your projects, so you may want to consider “re-organizing” your relationships in these projects. The same applies to your suppliers, manufacturers, staff, etc, etc.
Does it also applies in our design work…surely it does. This is where you pick out the efficient people, the organized ones, those capable to multi task…they don’t spend 80% of their time on 20% of the details. Since our commodity besides our knowledge is time, we need to be efficient with our time. We need to have the overall view and direction and delegate smaller issues and details to others so we can effectively steer the design ship and not get lost in the details. Certainly when you manage a team you find out that 80% of the time you are busy managing people and only 20% actively designing (if you are lucky!). There is a jewish saying that says if you want to wish someone a lot of problem, wish them a lot of staff….
Our goal is to spend minimal effort for a maximum effect, 20% effort for 80% results!