Here’s the third thing I learned from my recent Agile Fundamentals course at the University of Auckland with Steven Briggs.
The Pareto principle is the 80/20 ratio that we sometimes hear about in time management. In this context, it’s a reminder to not overload people.
In a nutshell, rather than working to a 100% productivity or 100% capacity when working on a project, we should be working to 80% capacity.
The reason for that is that we need that 20% for dealing with the stuff that goes wrong.
This made sense to me on a number of levels. If you’re a musician, you know about something called “headroom”. For example, I don’t run my guitar amplifier on full volume. Probably, I want to be running it on 75 to 80% of its capacity. It just seems to run better that way.
In terms of internet terminology, this relates to the idea of having enough bandwidth. The idea of having that extra 20% kind of allows you to be a bit resilient or anti-fragile.
Working with a 100% capacity makes me vulnerable or makes my project fragile.