Tag Archives: Queue Theory

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” AKA Queue Theory

Early Queue theory? ”The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” – Lewis Carroll

The 401 highway is my favourite example of the problem with Queues. At 100% of capacity it can take easily 3 hours to travel from Waterloo to Toronto.  At low capacity it can be done in ~1hr15minutes. Same route, same distance ~1/3 the time.

Sometimes to make a drink that is not full of garbage I mix Sunwarrior and Vega and pour it into my water bottle with a funnel. I noticed that if I just dump the powder into the funnel it clogs. If I sprinkle it in being careful to stay below a certain threshold I am done far faster than dump and fix the clog. Many times faster actually.

Based on the mathematical models (my personal experience verifies it) at about  65% of capacity things start to slow down. The more you try to cram work in the longer it takes to get done. It starts doubling quickly to the point that even a tiny addition halves the throughput.

So explain to me then how pushing for more work to get done makes things faster?

by Michael Badali