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Monday, 1 July 2013

The miss-understanding of Pareto

Pareto's principle stands
And all that know appreciate its value
Truly as it states, life follows I follow 
A 20-80 rule of participation and return

Ok back to basics, elementary
I may be putting the carriage in-front of the horse here
So allow me to start from the beginning a dot on plain sheet
A discovery of one of the golden rules of nature

Pareto states that we spend 20% of our time
In achieving 80% of the work to be done
And this is true, a blue print of formation
Nature's rule 101 as we proceed 

This principle can be interpreted in all sorts
Of situations, from relationship to work
20% time spent cuddling a love one, romance
Makes up some of the 80% of what relationship is about

Though this leaves us with 80% of the time
For 20% of the work left to be done
And most would think, well now
More time for R&R or procrastination 

But the most essential bit of the work
Lies in the 20% of the work left to be done
I call this the fine tuning stage, adjusting to fit
A correlation, synchronization, the final polish

This 20% of activity, believe me  
Needs all the 80% of the time left and more
If it is an essay being written 20%
Is the editing work to correct any mistakes

If it is a house being built 20%
Is the final finish of tweaking
The stage of wearing a blue bag on the shoe
When walking around the house

The 20% is the face value 
Which we as humans hold very dear 
The attentions to details 
Adjusting the mirror on the wall 

The value of the whole product 
Is set in the 20% of the activity left 
Without which appreciation of the work
Done would not be granted 

This is what I call the misunderstanding 

Of the Pareto's principle 
Quoting the 20 - 80 rule 
Is misleading without an appreciation 

Of what the 80 -20 swing of opposite ends 

The purpose and value of my appreciation 
Of what the car looks like 
Before considering its functionality. 

Note: My editor does the 20% of the work on this page 
Bear with me she would get round to any typos 


  1. Appreciate the write. An amazing expedition to explain the 20-80 rule. Quite inspiring Id say.

  2. Some interesting ideas here. Very wise.

  3. ha. your note in the end made me laugh about the editor...smiles...the devil is in the details man....i agree if you dont take the time to fine tune you lose what you had achieved in the 80

  4. Wow, Kodjo, this has a lot of depth to it. I will have to cogitate on this for a while, as there is a lot to wrap my mind around!

    Thanks for taking part in Poetry Pantry.

  5. I'm not familiar with this paradigm, but you have shed some light on the concept.

  6. This poem took twenty percent of my poem reading time this morning, hee hee. Just kidding! Intriguing concept, kiddo, but it feels to me like I spend 80% of my time accomplishing twenty percent of what needs to be done. And when that's the correlation, it leaves one feeling stressed:) Great write. Made me think.

  7. I learned something, great wisdom =)

  8. Both my poet and business major sides approve of this :) A great piece and a brilliant way to explain Pareto

  9. I knew nothing of Pareto's principle... but your dissection of the proportions is brilliant. Of course, it conflicts with my Uncle Tommy's advice about marriage, which is that both partners give 80%, leaving room for a 20% need of help from said partner, and then it's like a dancing fractal of 200%, swimming through life! Thanks for a thoughtful work. Amy


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