Scheduling sessions stump smart-guys, too
A hit TV show in here the States is called 'Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader?' It features grown-ups and panel of kids in the fifth grade; the host then sees who scores better on a general-knowledge quiz. We've watched this show and can proudly report that the answer is, usually we're not. Now comes another quiz that we know we can't do well on, 'Are you Smarter than a Schedule Planner?'
Southwest just put this quiz up on its blog, Nuts about Southwest, with a board-game type approach that entails some moving pucks and a template plus a vast conspiracy of rules including market timing, curfews aircraft turn-time, restrictions on equipment at various airports, and the like. Bill Owen, Southwest's lead schedule planner, says, "Writing schedules is sort of like getting paid to work Rubik's cube, play chess and solve mysteries all at the same time." He says the game was created a while back in-house. The airline is now making it into a contest. It is divided into two categories, one for Southwest employees and one for 'regular' people. At left is an idea of the variables that Bill works with, which gives you the idea that maybe even a fifth grader would find this challenging.
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