Aug 26

Capacity and Flow

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)



“Long Term Lot 1 is full” says the digital sign… “Already?!” I exclaimed as we were driving within the CLT airport vicinity looking for parking. “I guess there are a lot of folks like us, out for summer vacation” I thought.

Parking lots at CLT is contactless — i.e., automated. It knows when it is full to capacity; and can update the sign accordingly (when it is full or when it is not). Even entry and exit are automated. By the way, we could have had also booked our airport parking online. There is even busses frequently picking up parking lot customers to and from the airport.

Having the knowledge of capacity and when it is full or near full is awesome. Folks can plan ahead and accordingly.

We went to “Long Term Lot 2” where its sign showed “Open”. I kept my parking entry receipt in a secure and memorable place so I won’t forget it or misplace it — this is a very important “exit the parking lot” document.

Pause for a moment… and ponder upon this question: Would that “automated capacity management” be super helpful in your SAFe / Lean Agile Way of Working? Can you tell — at any given time — your ART’s capacity and remaining available capacity for the upcoming PI? What would your ART have to do to make this “automated capacity management” a reality?

Checked-in luggage.

Airplanes can only carry so much load, there is a load limit. Overloaded airplane is dangerous — it could crash. Airlines want to deliver their passengers alive and cargoes intact to their destination. Hence airlines are strict on luggage count and weight.

The same is true in PI Planning — going far beyond the ART’s capacity is dangerous — some objectives might not be delivered. We want to be able to deliver the promises (the Objectives) that we have committed to deliver.


Luggage cart.

CLT’s luggage carts are not free. We had to stop by the luggage cart area and pay $7.00 per cart (we paid for 2 for our 8 luggage). Our flow going in was interrupted by the stoppage to pay for the carts. This policy must change. I’ve never seen this in other international airports.

Checked-in Luggage.

Each was tagged with  our final destination, in large bold print; passthrough airports were in regular print. The next time that we will see our checked-in luggage will be in Manila (MNL) — our final destination. It is a “set-it-and-forget-it” kind of thing… very cool and convenient.


As for the security process with the TSA, the flow could be faster… start by not requiring shoes to be removed, I reckon. Of course, if you are already pre-checked, no worries — this is a great policy change to help make flow faster.

Overall, easy and pleasant experience at CLT… nothing is out of the ordinary.

Key Idea: Automating capacity management and having value flow without interruption are super important ingredients to the effective and efficient delivery of value in the hands of your customers.

My succeeding posts are about my family’s travel to the Philippines and Australia… and we are taking SAFe and the Lean Agile Way of Working/Living with us… and see how others outside of the USA are doing with the Lean Agile Way of Working/Living. Each post will have a Key Idea for you to ponder upon if you wish.

There are many other ideas like this — short but sweet ideas —  in my new book, ‘SAFe (6.0) Is like …’ . It is available on Amazon… and it has reached ‘# 1 New Release’ several times! Check it out.


About The Author

CE, MBA, Lean Agile Coach, Trainer, Teacher, SPC, RTE, PSM, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PMP, CC, ABNLP NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, NLP Coach, NLP Trainer, Practical Psychologist, Life Coach, Software Executive, Entrepreneur, Author, Investor, and Innovator with a Creative, Lean, Agile, and Wander mindset.

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