I spent most of the past two weeks not thinking about lean or anything work-related, while I enjoyed a wonderful vacation with family in
However, there were a few moments during our trip when the lean part of me came to the forefront. Some of these occurred during our visit to
The memorials there are an extremely popular tourist attraction, which, unfortunately, is troubled by some significant flow problems. This post and the next one will be devoted to discussions of those problems.
Most people who come to
To visit the
That system seems to work reasonably well. The problem occurs at the start of the process when you get your ticket, which is free.
The travel books I read in advance of our trip warned me about the high demand for tickets and the need to arrive early – so my family and I got to the visitor center at around , about an hour after the ticket office opened.
When we arrived, we saw a line at the ticket office that snaked out the front door of the center and all the way around the front grounds. I would estimate there were at least 200 people standing in line, and probably more – a scene, I am told, that is repeated almost every day. After spending at least 40 minutes in line, we got tickets for I understand that distribution of tickets ends each day by early afternoon, once capacity has been exhausted. As far as I know, tickets cannot be obtained in advance.
The lean part of my brain was yelling at me: It shouldn’t have to be like this! There must be a way to apply lean principles and improve the flow!