EMBRACE #2 - The 20-50 rule: 20% of questions are 50% of the gap

Our book "How Transformation Executives Sleep So Well" describes seven transformation patterns to avoid and seven patterns to embrace. Here is an excerpt.

‘When you think about focus, the reflex is to mention the 20-80 rule, a brainchild of the Italian economist Pareto. It says that 20% of the efforts determine 80% of the outcomes. This rule does not hold for targets in a transformation. When A.I. calculates a target, the outcome is different: 20% of the questions are responsible for 50% of the gap between the actual situation and the target for the next six months.’ explained the Transformation Executive.


          ‘And how could you effectively see that focus?’ he asked.


‘Well, assume you have a questionnaire with 30 questions. The first six questions (20% * 30 = 6) will solve half of the gap (50%) between the actual situation and your target for the next six months. And the first of those six questions might take a share of 15% to 25% of that gap of 50%. In other words, one question could already solve 1/7 to 1/5 of the gap. Conversely, after the 50% mark, questions add less and less to the gap because more and more people have these items already in order.’


          ‘And how about the respondents?’


Roughly the same 20-50 rule-of-thumb. So, 20% of the respondents are responsible for 50% of the gap between the actual situation and the target for the next six months. And again, similar to what we discussed with the questions: addressing the first respondents makes the most significant impact in improvement.’

Favicon for newsroom.praioritize.com Read the academic paper here. newsroom.praioritize.com


PRAIORITIZE is the world’s first SaaS platform for Virtual Consultancy. We use artificial intelligence to help organizations digitally transform in a smart, efficient and science-based way. PRAIORITIZE is owned and operated by Transparency Lab, a Dutch employee-owned company. We started in 2008, understood patterns around 2016 and started with generative A.I. in 2020.

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