Deliver your projects early by …..wait for it..not delivering

Many of you will have heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80:20 rule. In project management terms this means that 80% of the project takes 20% of the time and the other 20% takes 80% of the time.

Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto - The Pareto Principle

I was reminded of this quote while searching through my mass of materials for some information. I came across some PowerPoint slides. This explained that the then Abbey National, now Santander became involved in a business transformation programme. This company as part of its project management approach specifically terminated a small number of projects once the first deliverable had been delivered.

Increased project delivery

Note on the slides the number of projects delivered in year 1 through to year 3 – a huge leap in those delivered. I am not putting this down to the termination of projects early but it looks to have contributed.

We get many people saying they have too many projects to deliver and not enough time to deliver them I challenge them using the Pareto Principle. It is quite a challenge:

“Can you deliver just 80% of the deliverables in 20% of the project time and then stop the project?”

While people appreciate the question there is a genuine feeling that it would not go down very well with senior managers or stakeholders.

There is no doubt that in some projects all the deliverables have to be delivered but all of them?

Is it worth thinking about or actioning?

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