Visual Management and Strawberry Jam

Posted on May 2, 2012 | in Lean Tools, Personal, Time Savings, Visual Management | by

Every couple of years my mother and I get together to make batches of strawberry jam.

She’s made freezer jams for as long as I’ve been alive, and since I’ve been such a significant consumer of said jams (with strawberry being my far-and-away favorite flavor) a few years ago we started to make extra-large batches together and would split the jars. I absolutely love the homemade stuff, as it simply doesn’t compare to anything you can pull off the supermarket shelves.

Two weeks ago we took a weekend day and devoted it to making the batches that would last us for a couple years. However, the last time out I found a lower-sugar recipe and wanted to try it. It was so much more flavorful and considerably less unhealthy compared to the previous recipe, and despite the lower yield (less sugar needed = more strawberries needed) I swear by it.

Just like that last time out, we made both recipes. To tell the difference between the two recipes when digging for jars in the freezer, we used colored dot stickers on the low-sugar strawberry jam jars. Otherwise it would be nearly impossible to distinguish between the recipes quickly without grabbing a spoon and digging into and tasting frozen jam. Dot vs. no dot made a very simple and low-cost visual management system.


Quick programming note: I would like to thank everyone who helped spread the word about my blog post on the on-stage personalized jerseys at the NFL Draft’s first round on Thursday. Thanks to Mark Graban for sharing a link to the post in his “Stuff I’m Reading” list and to Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch for linking to the post as well (third link in the Uni-Watch News Ticker section). Also I really appreciate everyone that retweeted the blog post link to their followers.

I’ll also put in a plug for some charitable auctions of lean literature Mark Graban is donating. Please check out his eBay auctions that go to support a very worthy cause. I’ve already been outbid on a couple of the auctions but I will most certainly be back closer to the auction closing.

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