Rules of Thumb

Keep reading for the basic issue, or zip to the bottom of this article to order the full list of Rules of Thumb.

Does one of those questions sound familiar to you ?

  • The Senior management would like to know from you when it can count on a certain achievement and you have no clue ?
  • They want to hear from you how much staff you need for the implementation of a project and you simply do not know it yet ?
  • You are supposed to estimate when an important contract is expected to be finalized and you do not have any feeling for it ?
  • You are expected to provide a cost estimate, want to be as precise as possible and yet do not know what might be realistic ?

Then the perhaps best known Rule of Thumb, 80 / 20 rule (also called Pareto principle) might help you for the first time already :

Truth 1 :
80 % of all managers make their estimates based on gut feelings.

Ok, that doesn’t sound good, doesn’t it ? Maybe another try :

Truth 1b
80 % of all managers make their estimates based on experiences.

Unfortunately, this also applies a

Truth 2 :
80 % of all managers do not have enough experiences to make proper estimates.

So what can you do ?

Approx. 20 % of all managers master these and other questions in their day-to-day business with a whole range of adaptable tools. With these they can :

  • make and / or delegate decisions within a short time and with limited possibilities, for which the classic decision theories are inappropriate
  • relativize uncertainties and difficult-to-assess risks if careful considerations are too time consuming and impossible to implement in the appropriate speed
  • easily compensate for insufficient information

Consciously or unconsciously, with progressing experience managers are using increasingly

Rules of Thumb

for quick decision making.


  • are based on years and years of experience and are results of empirical surveys
  • can be further developed by you continuously

As a starting point, we have created an overview of those formulas that we ourselves take into account and constantly expand.

We limit it to an overview of largely general principles, which should help you and others in your own decision-making. The calculations are always so simple that they can be done by head calculation.

Want to belong to this 20 % ?
Then get the lastest overview using the keyword "Rules of Thumb".

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