Knowledge management (KM) is the process of creating, sharing, using, and managing an organization’s knowledge and information. It aims to use the collective knowledge of an organization to achieve its goals.

One way to approach and increase the productivity of knowledge management is to use the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. This principle states that for many outcomes, about 80% of the effects are due to 20% of the causes. In other words, a few causes have a large effect. To apply the Pareto principle to knowledge management, we must identify the 20% of knowledge or information that produces 80% of the desired results.

It is never a straightforward process, but if properly and consistently used, it can bring considerable benefits by increasing knowledge manager’s productivity and an overall impact on the organization’s performance. Specifically, Pareto’s principle can help us:

– focus on the most important and relevant data, information, and knowledge sources and avoid redundancy;

– prioritize the creation, collection, and sharing of the most valuable knowledge resources;

– allocate your time and resources more effectively;

– improve your decision-making and problem-solving;

– achieve greater performance and innovation.

Examples of using the Pareto Principle in knowledge management include:

Content Strategy: Identify the 20% of content that drives 80% of your traffic and leads, and optimize it according to your target audience.

Critical Knowledge: Identify the 20% of knowledge at risk of being lost or underused and adopt strategies to preserve and communicate it.

Communication Strategy: Identify the 20% of communication channels that reach 80% of your stakeholders, and use them to spread key messages.

Productivity: Identify the 20% of tasks that deliver 80% of your results and prioritize them to less effective.

KM Project management: Identify the 20% of project activities that add 80% of value to project success and focus on those rather than the less critical ones.

The 80/20 rule is not just a theory. It’s a practical framework with great potential for transforming knowledge management practices and driving organizational excellence. By embracing its principles and integrating them into your workflows, we can unlock new possibilities, drive meaningful change, and unlock the full potential of your collective knowledge. Let this principle guide your knowledge journey, and watch your organization thrive.


Dr. Dobrica Savić

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.25707.31524/1

*The image was created using MidJourney.