Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or you're just getting ready for a hearty dinner, planning for the big meal can be quite the task especially if you have lot's of guests to provide for. Hours of cooking, ordering and booking travel plans. It's no wonder turkey makes you tired. Allow us if you will to share 5 principles that will keep you lean this thanksgiving.
1. Define Value from the customer's perspective.
The truth is not everyone likes turkey. So going out and grabbing a turkey just because it's tradition may not be of value to guests or family. A frequent voice of the customer survey to friends and family can be helpful throughout the year. Of course your family may wonder why you're pinging them 6 months prior to the holidays to find out what they want to eat. So if you're not comfortable with sending a voice of the customer survey set-up a simple phone call and gather suggestions for the big meal. Preparation ahead of time can help you avoid excessive amounts of Overproduction on products that nobody wants to eat.
2. Map the Value Stream
Once you have the actual demand from friends and family it's time to start preparing for execution. No, not of the Turkey... we mean the big day. You want to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the day together. One way of doing this is map out your cooking process. You can use the years of past as the standard and identify opportunities where you may be able to improve. Here are a few tips for mapping dinner out.
Making your process visible will allow you to see Muda or Nonvalue added activities in the process that you may not have known were there.
3. Make Value Flow through the Elimination of Waste.
With the major bottlenecks now identified we can start to figure out how we get that turkey in the oven. Or ham, or lasagna, or food. The bottom line is if your looking to make value flow the quickest way is to remove waste from the process. Keep in mind that waste is viewed from three different perspectives which are: Muda, Muri and Mura, all three of these origins of waste should be evaluated and removed in order to make value flow in the most effective way. Since we've already identified the major bottlenecks in our thanksgiving feast we can now move on to discovering why those bottlenecks exist. You guessed it we're going to search for the root cause of each of the pain points in the process. Once you have discovered the root cause of the major bottlenecks then you can begin to plan solutions that will get food cooked fast and easy with a smile on everyone's face.
4. Respond Only to the Pull of the Customer.
You have your bottlenecks removed and a plan in place for the big day. Now that's something to be grateful for. But what happens when you get the wild idea to bake mom's famous sasquatch and turkey bacon pie? Don't do it! Not just because nobody will like it, but in part because nobody ordered it. If the "customers" don't want it, don't introduce waste into your improved holidays. Only respond to the pull of the customer.
5. Pursuit Perfection
No matter how many Turkeys, pigs, cows or lambs we cook there will always be room for improvement. The most important thing to remember about any improvement is to take some time after to celebrate, laugh, smile and reflect on the improvements that have been made. Once you have all shared in the joy of a wonderful dinner then it's time to begin looking for the next improvement to make.
From us to each and everyone of you we would like to say thank you. For whatever capacity, course, mailing list, experience, memory or consulting project you have been a part of each and everyone of you are special in your own way and for that we are grateful.
- Until next time friends, keep on improving and we will keep on giving "you," solutions that ignite your power!
Lean Strategies International LLC. accepts postings from all Lean and Six Sigma professionals to submit a post please visit: Submit a post.