80-20 Rule

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What is the '80-20 Rule'

The 80-20 rule is a rule of thumb that states that 80% of outcomes can be attributed to 20% of the causes for a given event. In business, the 80-20 rule is used to help managers identify problems and determine which operating factors are most important and should receive the most attention based on an efficient use of resources. Resources should be allocated to addressing the input factors have the most effect on a company's final results.

Also known as the "Pareto principle", the "principle of factor sparsity" and the "law of the vital few."

BREAKING DOWN '80-20 Rule'

The 80-20 rule was developed by Joseph Juran, a 20th century figure in the study of management techniques and principles. The 80-20 rule has been applied to a number of different facets of business.

An example of the 80-20 rule in economics would be that 80% of a country's wealth is controlled by 20% of the population, although this can be explained by the Gini index.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How historically valid is the 80-20 rule?

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  3. How is the 80-20 rule (Pareto Principle) used in management?

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  4. How were the figures 80 and 20 arrived at in the 80-20 rule (Pareto Principle)?

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