Especially for SME – 8: Vital Few Trivial Many in other Resources.

6 October 2021


M. Lowe: Take for example Method as a resource: If there are 10 steps to complete a process- any process- there are only two vital few tasks and 8 trivial many tasks. So you should take care to give differential treatment for these 2 tasks and not the same treatment for all the 10 tasks. How do we make this happen?

SME 1: We can put in more time and ensure the experts of that task, in whatever departments they may be and whatever designations they have, are participating in the planning stage itself thus avoiding a lot of waste in production.

Mr. Lowe: Great point!

SME 2: But how do we do it in Men? Every management consultant recommends the same treatment for all and every top man industry takes pride in saying in seminars all men are equal in our company.

Mr. Lowe: Do you treat Muniyandi, Naik and Singh same way as you treat others?

SME 3: Obviously not: the very fact we give them important jobs is a differential treatment.

Mr. Lowe: Absolutely! But do you give differential treatment in any other way?

SME 2: Yes, we give them higher increments; sponsor them for more overtime jobs so they earn more!

SME 3: But does that not mean showing partiality?

Mr. Lowe: Good question: In my opinion, showing partiality to performers is the key to keep effective people on the job and in your roles. But we have to make sure that we are partial to performers only and not to people who simply are very ineffective and keep showering praises on us owners, though we have done nothing extraordinary. Praising us when we do something substantial is genuine appreciation and praising us incessantly when we don’t do anything substantial is flattery.

Is there any other simple way to make a difference in treatment of effective people?

SME 1: We can make a difference even when we say or return a greeting like good morning every day! We can make a difference by talking about the vital few men’s family welfare and helping them non-financially as e.g., education and health issues etc. faced by the family.

Mr. Lowe: I think this point is very well understood now. What about Vital Few Trivial Many in other M’s? Now you can figure out on your own. For example like the task level in processes, even at transactions level in finance, there are vital few transactions and trivial many transactions. The transactions below certain figure – whether in petty cash or in cheques- are trivial many and that is why I said your time should not be wasted on these. Remember every transaction – trivial many or vital few – needs almost similar amount of input of resources – say time- from us owners. So if you avoid such transactions, as they are 80% by number, you save enormous time that you can use to put your own business in firm foundation and grow it over time. The law of VFTM (Vital Few Trivial Many) is not only true and works in Materials and Men universally, but also in every other M. also – again universally. This is why I call it Universal Law of Energy. ……………….contd.


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