January 2006

I’ve been toying with running a contest lately. I think about it every time I find myself waiting for, or on an elevator.

What would an elevator algorithim look like? How would you measure it? How to get the highest customer satisfaction (for transit; not elevator music) possible? Some thoughts:

  • Please the most people in transit. This might include skipping floors for single riders.. Upside: You’ll please the masses. Downside: Individuals will hate you.
  • Pick up the floors where the most people are waiting. Assume you have a way to count passengers-in-waiting. Upside: You’ll please the masses. Downside: Individuals will hate you.
  • Change directions to satisfy the first bullet. Upside: Doing so will make it possible to drop off the groups in order of size, increasing customer satisfaction. Downside: Everyone will hate you, because you’ll be making them ill.
  • Change speeds over extended transit to satisfy the first bullet. Upside: You’ll be able to drop off the groups faster. Downside: Everyone will still hate you, because you’ll be making them ill even faster.

Of course, you’ll need some sort of service-level agreement in place for the one poor sod who gets caught up in ‘the system’. This person will wind up riding up and down, up and down, potentially never being in the largest group until there’s no one left on the elevator but him.

How would you do this?

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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