Renovation and the 80/20 rule

Renovation project

Home renovation or renovation for profit is a project and just like any other project there are a few principles of project management that apply to a renovation project.

80/20 rule

You’ve probably heard of the Pareto principle – also known as the 80/20 rule.  This rule originally came from an observation made about the state of land ownership in Italy – not so far removed from our property investing topic, hey?  The original observation that Pareto noted was that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population.  He found the situation similar in other places.  This 80/20 rule – which is more of an observation than an actual law of nature – can be applied in many circumstances, for example in the business world:

  • 80% of profits come from 20% of customers
  • 80% of profits come from 20% of products
  • 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the input
  • 80% of issues come from 20% of customers

and so on and so forth…

In project management – and this applies to renovation projects:

  • 80% of the time is due to 20% of the tasks AND 80% of problems or issues come from 20% of the tasks

Finishing off

So this is kind of where we find ourselves with our current renovation project.  We’ve completed or nearly completed many of the ‘big ticket’ items and the house is really looking good.  This means we feel as though we’re nearing the end of the project.  We’re starting to ‘ease off the pedal’ a bit, we’re letting ourselves start to see the end in our sights.

Reality, however, is althought we’ve completed these big ticket items contributing to the 80% of results and so we’ve still got a large number of tasks to go!  They’re just little, niggly tasks, that need to be done but don’t seem to have as great an impact as some of those other big ticket items and so seem less significant.

This is where the project risk is!

It’s all of these little niggly details that need to be completed – the sort of tasks that everyone loses interest in – that drag a project out in terms of time.  The finishing off of that last 20% that will make or break this project in terms of timeframe.

Renovation Plan

It’s times like these that without a clear list of project tasks to ‘tick off’ that the project will flounder about never getting finished.  So now, more than ever, is when we rely on the project plan to make sure everything gets done.  When the tasks are large and obvious, there’s no issue in knowing what to do next, but as they become smaller and less obvious we need to make sure we have everything documented and we know what needs to be done.

Doing what it takes

So, rather, than flounder about, I am instead going to throw myself into the project now, more than ever!  Ok, well, truth be told, I have a planned holiday coming up and so want to spend that holiday relaxing and not renovating – and if that’s not motivation to keep at it then I don’t know what is!

For the next four weeks I’ll be spending significant time at the reno house, including staying there 3-4 nights each week so that I can maximize all of the available time to get these niggly last details done!

Thank goodness we’ve got the heating in at the reno house – now just need the builder to finish off the bathroom so I can have a shower too!

Oh – and if you’re wondering how the picture at the top of this post fits in – it’s the light at the end of the tunnel!

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