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Thanksgiving Standardized

Nov 26, 2019 1:12:04 PM

Standardizing your processes can create repeatable and reproducible results. We know that standardizing can make you more efficient by reducing or eliminating non-value added activities. Why wouldn't we want to do that so that we can spend more time with her family? Isn't that what the holidays are all about?

I don't know about your family, but my family eats the same food every Thanksgiving. Yeah, we're going to have the turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, and, of course, green bean casserole. I'm not sure if that's Indiana thing or if others enjoy such a decadent Midwest dish. Of course, don't forget the pumpkin pie.

My house has hosted Thanksgiving since 2006. That is the whole purpose of having double ovens, right? My mom would always wonder why we were not running around in a frantic pace when everyone was arriving and everything was coming out of the oven. She would ask what what can I help with? We've got everything under control I would say.

Here's my secret, I have standardized our Thanksgiving dinner.

That's right, I have a spreadsheet for that! That spreadsheet consists of the menu, who's making what, ingredients for each dish, needed pots and pans, and serving dishes. The ingredients list can be inventoried and what you don't have on hand has now become your grocery list.

For 2019 I have a new challenge, I have moved 2000 miles away from my family, but we're still going to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I confirmed the menu just in case after 40+ years someone wanted to eat something different. I don't know what the status of the ingredients are in my mom's pantry. I do know that my mom and I disagree on what expiration dates mean, so I'm just going to assume that I need to buy everything for the dinner.

Something that I discovered a few years back is Kroger's Click List. You shop online and select a time for pick up. I have created to Click List for our 2019 Thanksgiving dinner. I have one for dry goods that can be picked up this week. For some reason those big turkey roaster pans are hard to find the closer you get to Thanksgiving, so I must get it while they are still available. The second Click List pick up, is perishables such as milk, butter, and eggs.

So, when I arrive back home in Indiana, everything I need to cook a Thanksgiving dinner will be ready and waiting. I will admit, I did cut a corner for this meal, I'm making the canned cranberry sauce.

Wishing you and your family a happily standardized Thanksgiving!

Leigh Ann Schildmeier
Written by Leigh Ann Schildmeier

Leigh Ann Schildmeier specializes in implementing continuous improvement and risk mitigation strategies that help clients increase efficiency, improve quality and service, and increase profits. A frequent speaker and coach on process improvement topics, she is a certified Lean Practitioner and Six Sigma Black Belt with more than 20 years of experience across a range of industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. Leigh Ann is founder and president of Park Avenue Solutions, a process improvement consulting firm that works to empower excellence in businesses and teams.

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