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The Ham Effect

Auditing can help your organization identify and eliminate the Ham Effect.   Simply put, the Ham Effect is the act of performing a function which no longer adds value but is still required because that is the way it has always been.   


A woman was teaching her daughter the family recipe for baked ham.  The mother began the instructions with "First you cut off the bottom three inches of the ham..."   Her daughter stopped her with a question: "Why do you cut the end off?" "I don't know," said her mother. "Its the way your grandmother always made it."

Unhappy with the answer, the daughter called her grandmother.   "Grandma," she said, "why do we cut off the end of the ham before we cook it?"

"When I first married, I didn't have a pan big enough to put the ham in, so I always cut off the end to make it fit.," replied the grandmother.

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