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Friday, June 21, 2013

Lean Quote: The Vital Few and Trivial Many, Doing More by Doing Less

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"The Vital Few and the Trivial Many." — J.M. Juran

Quality guru J.M. Juran referred to Pareto's principle as "The Vital Few and the Trivial Many". If you are running a company the 80/20 rule has powerful implications for every area of your business.

Pareto's postulate says 20% of your effort will generate 80% of your results. There is also a corollary: 20% of your results absorb 80% or your resources or efforts.

Pareto's Principle, the 80/20 Rule, should serve as a daily reminder to focus 80 percent of your time and energy on the 20 percent of you work that is really important. Don't just "work smart", work smart on the right things.

From your long list, identify the top three to four and focus all your energy on those. When one is complete, pull another up to the top, but hold no more than four at a time. You will find that you get more done (and at a higher quality) by working on only four priorities at a time than you did when you tried to juggle ten or twelve.

The most effective leaders are those who can cut through the clutter to focus on what is most important. Anyone is a leader who can help others simplify and focus so that more of what matters is what gets done!

Production: You may find that 80% of your products or services are created by 20% of your people, 80% of your problems are fixed by 20% of your people, team, and, 80% of your problems probably come from 20% of people. All a different 20%! Wouldn't it be helpful to know which 20% is doing what?

Quality: 80% of your defects are found in 20% of your product units. Also, 80% of the defects come from 20% of the defect types. Spend lots of energy figuring out how to prevent those 20% and you've made huge gains in quality.

Of its many applications, its strongest interpretation suggests that 20 percent of actions accounts for 80 percent of results. Dr. Juran also identified, on the flip side, that 20 percent of defects accounts for 80 percent of problems.

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