Friday, November 10, 2006

Is this your experience too?

Whenever I have been a member of committees, groups, clubs, teams, etc. it seems to me the work is usually done by a few people. Another popular saying on the same subject is ‘If you want a job done, give it to a busy person.’

This seems common practice whenever I speak to friends and colleagues about the subject. The Pareto Principle is often referred to as the ‘80/20 rule.’ That is 80% of the work is usually done by 20% of the people.

Recently I came across a lovely analogy about this as follows;

‘It’s likened to a football match, in which thousands of people desperately in need of exercise are watching 22 people desperately in need of a rest.’

Simple and yet powerful don’t you think?


Dan said...

Reminds me of Parkinson's Law - work expands to fill the time allotted.

My own little correlary to Parkinson's law is that Work is Compressible. If work expands to fill the time allotted, it can also shrink to fill a decreased amount of time. Thus, a busy person is one who is able to compress work to the time available... and when more work is added, they compress things further and get it done...

Of course, it helps if one is an Imperfectionist as well (as I explained in one of the first Rogue Project Leader articles:

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Dan - hope you are keeping well.

You are absolutely right - people who get things done can always get more done because they are motivated by achievement. In my career I have surprised even myself by how productive I can be even if I am telling myself I am just too busy to take on any more. On the other hand some people who work slower and more deliberately can be just as productive but just take longer. Their error rate is generally less - Great discussion.

I guess we all have our own style, our own values and our own priorities about how important we believe work really is ....and by the way ….isn't that just wonderful?