A SIPOC is a high-level process map that summarizes the Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers for a complex process or functional organization.
SIPOC’s are usually one-page documents and are a perfect starting point for documenting a process or teaching it to others (see the many uses of SIPOC’s below or go to the templates page for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint templates).
SIPOC process mapping is easy (here is the template for the example below). This SIPOC describes the corrective action process for a manufacturing company:
|Training||Give new employees a comprehensive overview of each process (or the function they belong to!) at a high level, rather than bombarding them with documents.|
|Orientation||If you are a new leader going into an area, the whole team will likely benefit by putting a SIPOC together for the overall team, and one for each of its major processes (see the customer service example on the templates page). This is also a great way for you to interact with your team members early.|
|Process Mapping||It’s easy to get “lost in the weeds” when mapping a process. Starting with a SIPOC ensures that none of the high-level process steps will be missed.|
|Kaizen Events||SIPOC’s are very useful for kicking off kaizen events, especially when one or more team members are from outside the process being improved.|
|SOP’s||SIPOC’s make a great executive summary to a standard operating procedure by giving readers a full overview of at a glance.|
A SIPOC diagram has five columns, and is normally completed starting with the center Process column.
|Processes||These are the major processes or process steps within the overall process or function being mapped.|
|Outputs||Process outputs can include any number of things, including documents (i.e. a completed form or report), decisions (i.e., shipment dates for new orders), and communication (i.e., email confirmations sent to customers).|
|Customers||Customers receive the process outputs. Some customers are internal (i.e. sales team) and some are external (i.e. consumer or end-user), depending on the situation.|
|Inputs||Inputs are necessary for executing the processes in the Process column.|
|Suppliers||Suppliers are necessary for providing the inputs.|
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