Thanksgiving & Process Management

It is the week of Thanksgiving so many of us are spending a lot of time planning the Thanksgiving meal. Once the menu has been decided, the rest is about process.

When mapping a business process, discover the following:  The activities that are to be performed; Determine who will be performing the activity; Determine what information they need to perform the activity; Determine what information they will create as a result of that activity; and Identify where that information will be stored.


So, let’s look at the Thanksgiving meal from a process management point of view.

Activities to be performed might include:

  • Choose the menu/entrees
  • Choose the recipes that will be followed
  • Purchase the ingredients
  • Create a plan that includes: The time to start cooking; The cooking order of the entrees; Schedule in time for the football game; Determine who will cook which item
  • Gather ingredients for each dish and place at ‘stations’
  • Prepare and cook entrées
  • Serve entrées
  • Give Thanks…

Next, identify who will perform each activity.  Gather what they will need to perform their activity [recipe, ingredients, station].  Their output is an entrée rather than information and that output will be gratefully consumed.

Not only does this make preparing a Thanksgiving meal look complex, in fact it is complex.  Complex and fattening…

This is a perfect example of a manual process.  Since you do this once or twice a year, it doesn’t make sense to automate anything.  Certainly, you wouldn’t buy software for this, but maybe you could buy a pumpkin pie or Paul Prudhomme’s sweet potato pecan pie…


Happy Thanksgiving!


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By Scott Cleveland @ Cleveland Consulting | November 22, 2012

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