SIPOC Diagram

SIPOC Diagram

By Venanzio Figliolino

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SIPOC Diagram

What is ?

It is a tool that summarizes the Inputs and Outputs of one or more processes in table form. The acronym SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers which It was in use at least as early as the total quality management programs of the late 1980s and continues to be used today in Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, and business process management.

Why is used ?

Usually SIPOC  is used to give people who are unfamiliar with a Process a high-level overview with information about the main actors (Suppliers and Customers, internal and external) that take part to the process and the main documents, material, service, information in use (Input and Output).

When ?

The SIPOC is often presented at the outset of process improvement efforts such as Kaizen events or during the "define" phase of the DMAIC process.

How create a SIPOC Diagram ?

SIPOC diagram is a powerful tool and in the same time is a very simple tool to create. The better way for creating it is in a brainstorming session with the participation of all project team members.

  1. Put on the wall from 2 to 4 magic charts for creating a whiteboard. On the header attach 5 post it with the five letter of S-I-P-O-C so that you create 5 columns. Each part of the diagram will be created by the team on post it that will be attached on the whiteboard in the relative column;
  2. Begin to individuate the steps of the Process. The right approach is to identify from 5 to 7 steps so that the result have the right level of detail for a SIPOC diagram. If you have difficult to identify the right number of the steps probably you have to do a In Scope/Out of scope analysis for better understanding the right ambit of the process;
  3. Identify the Output of the process, step by step;
  4. Identify the Customer of the process, step by step;
  5. Identify the Input necessary to the process step for creating the output to the customers;
  6. Identify the Suppliers;
  7. Discuss with the project sponsor, the process owner and the stakeholders the result and finalize it.

The final result is something like the pictures below.

  SIPOC Example        SIPOC Example 3 SIPOC Example 2  

Venanzio Figliolino

Venanzio Figliolino

Process Excellence Lead & Founder of Lean Six Sigma Community
About me

Management engineer with 15+ years of experiences in multinational companies, employed in different roles but with common goals: Continuos Improvement, processes standardization &...

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Venanzio Figliolino

Process Excellence Lead & Founder of Lean Six Sigma Community

Management engineer with 15+ years of experiences in multinational companies, employed in different roles but with common goals: Continuos Improvement, processes standardization & optimization.

I'm trainer and consultant about Lean & Six Sigma methodologies, I love to help organizations to improve their performances in terms of times/costs/defects/spaces reductions.

I founded Lean Six Sigma University & Community, two synergic projects developed for creating a common place where learn and divulgate knowledges about Lean and Six Sigma methodologies applied to different ambits.

The application of Lean & Six Sigma methods are not simply methods learned and applied, it is a cultural change.