Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Neuschwanstein Castle - Lean paradies, part 1

Recently I had the chance to visit castle Neuschwanstein. And surprise: beside not discussable cultural value I could observe many lean practices.
I cannot comment if all of them were implemented on purpose and under the Lean umbrella - I have not noticed explicit lean logos as we know it from Toyota.
To save some words here is the inventory of my observations:

  • Ticket sale service is in separate building – not in front of castle entrance
    -         This is queue content optimization pure :). It provides the flexibility to re-organize content of the big queue so people are approaching the castle itself in already given order (sure with some variance –  respecting individual needs)

  • Ticket sale service is equipped with lines for people queue
    - This technique is well known and can be often seen on airports when waiting for check-in. This tool ensures that incoming order is clear and predictable. A lot of conflicts can be avoided.

  • The length of people queue is configurable in ticket sale service. People queue itself is very effective, but it could slow down throughput if the installed length does not correlate with real needs.

  • One queue - many ticket counters. This way, in this case, is more effective than the other alternative: every ticket counter has separated waiting queue (can be seen in supermarkets).
    -         One can increase the performance of this process step (selling tickets) without need to reconfigure the queue itself.
    -         Ticket counter that unplanned stops working does not increase blood pressure of 20 people waiting exactly in this queue. Both this properties are very valuable in high

  • Tours are guided only
    -         This is core element, means whole process is under certain tact, cadence.