The Pareto Principle and Project Control Systems

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You may have examined the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, previously in one of the following ways:

In project management: “By doing 20% of the work, you can produce 80% of the benefit of doing the whole job.”
In sales: “20% of clients are responsible for 80% of sales volume” or “20% of the sales force generates 80% of the sales.”
In software development: “Fixing 20% of the bugs will prevent 80% of computer crashes.”
Or, perhaps you are familiar with Vilfredo Pareto’s original commentary on the Italian economy: “20% of the population owns 80% of the land in Italy.” Regardless of the way that it is applied, the Pareto Principle is used in general to point out an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs.

For this week’s second Discussion, research the Pareto Principle. How does this principle apply to the development of a project control system? What elements of a cost system represent the 20%? In your response, discuss the “granularity” of the control system (i.e., how much detail) and the decisions that construction managers make to include and exclude certain elements.

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