So I was watching some of the lead in to the Papal Mass in New York's Yankee Stadium. The reporter was talking to a priest about giving the Holy Communion to about 60,000 people within a span of 15 minutes. They chatted about the logistics… talking more about the challenge more so than a precise solution.
My warped Lean mind starts thinking “takt time.” Appropriate, perhaps, since “takt” is a German word and the Pope himself is German.
Takt time is calculated as (Available Time / Demand).
(15 min * 60 sec) / 60,000
That equals 0.015 seconds per Catholic.
Assuming a fast pace and it taking 3 seconds per attendee, they would require 200 priests or laypeople giving communion. We'd calculate that by dividing 3 by 0.015 = 200.
I'm sorry I doubted them, I bet they can pull that off!!
Updated: The NY Times has a helpful graphic about this. They said 530 priests, so it must be more like 7 or 8 seconds per communicant. That's still pretty fast. This article says it took about 30 minutes to actually give communion, so it worked out to more like twice the expected time.
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