While everyone desires perfection, there is a cost to creating it.  Balance is essential for us to get products out the door that are good without waiting to make them perfect.  Thus, the Pareto principle, or 80-20 rule, is worth reviewing.  In this presentation, we look at the Pareto principle and how it can help us produce better products at a higher velocity.

Improve Velocity With The Pareto Principle

We have previously looked at the Agile Process as a way to improve on time-to-market.  In that case, we used the idea of regular releases to get new features out the door incrementally.  This time, we look at that first release.  There is always some level of minimally viable product (MVP) required to make it worth “shipping” a solution.  The challenge we face is defining the MVP along with enough other features to push our prospects to want it even more.  This situation is only complicated when you factor in things like bugs, and user experience desires.

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I find the 80-20 rule to be a useful measure of cost in these situations.  When we accept that the last twenty percent of completing a solution will require eighty percent of the time, things clarify quickly.  That final push is expensive to complete when compared against the rest.  Of course, that last section of features tends to include the most valuable bits.  While we could argue that we, therefore, must complete the solution, that is not the case.  The first four-fifths of our effort often get us to an MVP state or close to it.  Then, we can cherry-pick a few features in the last twenty to do and do well.  We now have a smaller pool of functionality (in that final 20%) to review and decide to include or not.  We also have high costs associated with them, so it typically is obvious what is worth the effort and what is not.

The Mentor-Mastermind Group

This series comes from our mentoring/mastermind classes.  These classes are virtual meetings that focus on how to improve our technical skills and build our businesses.  The goals of each member vary.  However, this diversity makes for great discussions and a ton of educational value every time we meet.  We hope you enjoy viewing this series as much as we enjoy creating it.  As always, this may not be all new to you, but we hope it helps you be a better developer.  Drop us a line to find out when the next one is so you can join our group.

Slide Deck: Embracing80-20

Other classes you might consider:

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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