What is Pareto Analysis In Information Technology Specially in Testing?

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What is Pareto Analysis?
What is Pareto Analysis?

What is Pareto Analysis?

Pareto Analysis

The Pareto Analysis Principle states that only a “vital few” factors are responsible for producing most of the problems. This principle can be applied to quality improvement to the extent that a great majority of problems (80%) are produced by a few key causes (20%). If we correct these few key causes, we will have a greater probability of success.In general it is said 80-20 principal.  In industries this can be termed as the following:

All 80%

  •  problems are created by 20% employees
  •  issues are coming from 20% areas
  • bugs are coming due 20% code failure
  • times goes due to reply or reading 20% email
  • issues are coming from 20% of the tickets
  • tickets are coming from 20% of the issues
We should not be sticking to exact percentage while applying the Pareto. It is just a projection numbers that shows how the issues are leaking and what area to target. It is a simple yet very powerful tool to remove unwanted noise and improve productivity.
There are several was to identify the Pareto. For IT industry the below listed are important:
  • List down the issues in terms of bugs,Exceptions,errors,productivity loss etc
  • Find out the route cause for each of these.
  • Put some score based on the relevance.
  • Point out the issues Scores to identify the fix priority
  • Take corrective actions

While analyzing the results , we being the automation engineers needs to tell development group which are the most critical areas that needs immediate attention.I remember that during my result report analysis in the early days of selenium, Object identification and synchronization issues were the two most critical areas to cover.As we used to get hundreds of failures in those two areas. A quick fix in the locator strategy or a simple wait was the saver for our automation effort.

Who uses it?

The team, the manager.

Why use it?

For the team to quickly focus its efforts on the key causes of a problem.

When to use it?

After doing a cause-and-effect analysis, to count the frequency of different causal factors, and to identify problems.

How to use it:

Gather data on the frequency of the causes using a tally sheet.Rank the causes from the most to the least important, and calculate the cumulative percentage (the cumulative percentage is the first percentage plus the second percentage, and so on).

Causes Percentage

of Total Computation Cumulative Percent
A 20% 0+20%= 20% 20%
B 18% 20%+18%=38% 38%
C 15% 38%+15%=53% 53%
D 11% 53%+11%=64% 64%

How to put or Display:

  1. Draw a horizontal axis (X) that represents the different causes, ordered from the most to least frequent.
  2. Draw a vertical axis (Y) with percentages from 0 to 100%.
  3. Construct a bar graph based on the percentage of each cause.
  4. Construct a line graph of the cumulative percent.
  5. Draw a line from 80% on the Y axis to the line graph, and then drop the line down to the X axis. This line separates the important causes from the trivial ones.

In the example below, you can see that only 6 causes out of 20 are responsible for 80% of the problem. The other 14 causes are responsible for 20% of the problem. There is a good chance that if you focus on solving the 6 key causes, the other 14 will be solved as well.


Taken from “http://erc.msh.org/quality”

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