One powerful tool for gaining that understanding is the SIPOC diagram. This diagram is a visual representation of the process, capturing key inputs, outputs, suppliers, customers, and the steps in between.
In this guide, we'll provide you with everything you need to know to create your own SIPOC diagram, including what it is, why it's useful, and how to make one step-by-step. We'll also provide some best practices and tips to ensure that your diagram is as effective as possible.
SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers. A SIPOC diagram is a high-level view of a process that identifies the key elements involved in the process and how they relate to each other. The diagram includes a top-level view of the process, along with the suppliers of inputs, the customers of outputs, and the steps in between.
SIPOC diagrams are an excellent tool for gaining a high-level understanding of a process. They allow you to see the process from end to end, and identify potential sources of waste or inefficiency. By identifying these areas, you can then focus your improvement efforts where they will have the most impact.
Define the process The first step in creating a SIPOC diagram is to define the process you want to analyze. This may be a business process, a manufacturing process, or any other type of process that you want to improve.
Identify the outputs Once you've defined the process, the next step is to identify the outputs of the process. These are the results that are produced by the process and delivered to the customer.
Identify the customers With the outputs identified, the next step is to identify the customers of the process. These are the individuals or groups that receive the outputs and use them in some way.
Identify the inputs The next step is to identify the inputs to the process. These are the resources, materials, or information that are needed to produce the outputs.
Identify the suppliers With the inputs identified, the next step is to identify the suppliers of those inputs. These are the individuals or groups that provide the resources, materials, or information needed to produce the outputs.
Map the process With all of the key elements identified, the final step is to map the process itself. This involves breaking down the process into its individual steps and identifying how each step relates to the inputs, outputs, customers, and suppliers.
Involve stakeholders from across the organization in the process Keep the diagram simple and easy to understand Use clear and concise language Use consistent formatting throughout the diagram Update the diagram regularly to ensure it stays current
A SIPOC diagram is a powerful tool for gaining a high-level understanding of a process. By identifying the key inputs, outputs, suppliers, customers, and steps in between, you can gain insight into potential sources of waste or inefficiency and focus your improvement efforts where they will have the most impact. Follow the steps outlined in this guide and use our best practices to create a SIPOC diagram that is both comprehensive and effective.