Who was Pareto, and what is his Principle?

Pareto Analysis is a simple technique designed to focus effort on those problems that offer the greatest potential for improvement.

It is named after the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, and is often referred to as the:

80:20 rule

Basically, the Pareto Principle states that:

80% of the problems are due to 20% of the causes.

For example, 80% of car breakdowns are caused by 20% of the parts.

So in most cases one or two issues cause the majority of the problems. The Pareto technique provides the means to identify these vital few issues and to prioritise their resolution.