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SIPOC in Six Sigma: Diagram, Tools, Templates

19th Jan, 2024
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    SIPOC in Six Sigma: Diagram, Tools, Templates

    A tool that can be used to assist in determining the root causes of issues is SIPOC which stands for - suppliers, inputs, processes, outputs, and consumers. Six Sigma frequently makes use of the SIPOC model. 

    An Overview of SIPOC 

    The first step of the SIPOC model is to identify the customer who will use this product or service. Then you need to draw a map of all the suppliers who provide materials for this product or service. The next step is identifying the processes required to produce your product or provide your service. Then you need to identify what inputs are needed for these processes and what outputs result from them. Finally, you need to identify which customers will use each output. 

    The SIPOC model helps businesses understand where their bottlenecks are so they can make improvements and increase efficiency. 

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    The name SIPOC stands for: 

    • Suppliers: The suppliers of your products or services (or the materials required to make them) 
    • Inputs: The inputs required by your company to produce its products or services (e.g., raw materials, labor) 
    • Processes: The steps that are required to produce your product or service (e.g., assembly line processes) 
    • Outputs: The outputs produced by your company (e.g., cars) 
    • Customers: The customer's related queries and strategies. 

    This blog will explain the benefits, tips, and process of using the SIPOC model to help you gain clarity and focus on what matters most for your project. 

    What is SIPOC Diagram? 

    A SIPOC diagram is a tool that can be used to identify the steps involved in a process and the common components involved in those steps. A SIPOC diagram is a simple visual representation of a process, with arrows pointing to each step in the process and representing its input, process, output, and customer. 

    This can be extremely useful for understanding how the system works or what areas may need improvement in a manufacturing setting. It is useful for identifying potential waste sources and analyzing product or service costs. 

    When to use it?

    The SIPOC diagram is a tool that helps you organize your project's scope, identifying all of the inputs, processes, outputs, and constraints that need to be considered when planning for a new project. When starting your project management career, you'll want to ensure that you use this tool consistently throughout your workday. 

    For example, let's say there's an opportunity for your business to expand into another state. You may have already identified some potential locations where you could open up shop in that state. Still, before committing to any one location or having an idea of what kind of business operations you'll need in this new location, it's important to consider all the factors involved in opening another office. The SIPOC diagram can help you do so. 

    The SIPOC approach is useful when working with complex processes or projects involving multiple departments. It helps you map out your entire SIPOC process, from start to finish, so that you know exactly what's needed and how everything works together. 

    Why are SIPOC Diagrams Important? 

    If you've ever been on a team where everyone was working on something different, but there was no clear indication of who was responsible for what, then you know how important it is to see where each person's work fits into the larger scheme of things. If a member of your team is having trouble with their part of the project or if they're running behind schedule without telling anyone about it, this can cause serious problems for everyone else involved.  

    The solution? SIPOC diagrams 

    With these diagrams at hand, it's easy to identify where each person's work fits into the larger picture so that everyone knows who's responsible for what parts of the project—and when they need to be completed. 

    Benefits of a SIPOC diagram

    SIPOC Diagrams are a great tool for any project manager or business analyst. Here are four SIPOC benefits: 

    1. Transparency and alignment 

    SIPOC diagram is a useful tool for creating transparency and alignment, which are key components of any successful project. When you have a clear picture of the project's inputs, processes, and outputs, you can see what each part contributes to the overall goal. You can also ensure that everyone working on the project understands their role in supporting its success. 

    2. High-level project overview for strategic management. 

    A SIPOC diagram is an easy way to get a high-level overview of your project because it simply shows how all the pieces fit together. This helps you understand how your work fits into the bigger picture of your organization's goals and how it relates simultaneously to other projects you might be working on. 

    3. Process documentation and templates 

    When working on a project, it is important to have a solid understanding of the processes involved. This is where the SIPOC diagrams template comes in handy. A SIPOC diagram is a simple but powerful tool that enables you to document and understand the process and create templates from it. The SIPOC diagram template can also be used to train new employees or existing onboard employees who are new to the company or product. 

    4. Training material for onboarding. 

    SIPOC diagrams can be used as an effective way to onboard new employees. For example, if you want to train someone on how to use your product, you can use a SIPOC template as part of your training material. This will make things easier for them because they will already know what they need to do before they start using the product itself! 

    How to Create a SIPOC Diagram in Six Sigma? 

    SIPOC is a great way to get an overview of what's happening in your organization and can help you identify areas for improvement. Here are the steps for creating your SIPOC methodology: 

    1. Choose a process 

    The first step in creating a SIPOC is choosing a process. You can use this tool for any process broken down into steps, from manufacturing a product to creating a marketing campaign. If you have more than one process, you can create multiple SIPOCs and use each tool to examine each separate process.

    2. Define the process

    Once you've chosen your process, it's time to define it. This involves breaking down the steps involved in that process into smaller chunks and listing those chunks in order. For example, when creating a marketing campaign, you might define your steps: identify the target audience, write advertising copy, develop a content strategy, etc. 

    3. List the outputs

    The next step in creating a SIPOC diagram is to list all the outputs you have or will create for your product. You can think about this as a way to identify what makes your product different from others on the market. For example, if you are developing a new toothbrush, you might list things like "the bristles" or "the handle." 

     For each step/activity, list all outputs produced as well as inputs required to produce them (materials, services, personnel).  

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    4. Identify the customers

    The step in creating a SIPOC diagram is identifying who will use your product and how they will use it. This could be an individual user (like yourself), an organization (like a dentist's office), or even another company. It helps to think about who might need your product and why they want it before starting this step! 

    5. List the inputs

    Inputs are the resources that are required to produce an output. Inputs include things like raw materials, labor, and machinery. These resources must be purchased or created before you can begin production. 

    6. Identify suppliers

    Suppliers are companies or individuals who provide the inputs you need for your product. Suppliers may be internal (e.g., a factory) or external (e.g., a supplier). If you have more than one supplier, it's important to keep them separate in your diagram to track how much each one contributes to your company's output. 

    7. Share your diagram

    The last step in creating a SIPOC chart is to create a diagram that shows the information flow for each task within your organization. You can start by writing down all the steps associated with producing your product or service and then adding arrows to show how each step affects another step further in production or delivery. 

    You may also want to include other elements necessary for completion: materials, resources, equipment, or people. You can add notes about deadlines and related costs if you'd like! 

    SIPOC Diagram Example in a DMAIC Project

    The SIPOC diagram is used in every DMAIC project to identify the problem, the source, the process that causes the problem, and the customer affected by this process. 

    You use a SIPOC diagram to help identify what is causing this issue. 

    SIPOC diagram helps you understand the product's components about each other and their relationships with customers. It's a map of the project's inputs, processes, and outputs. 

    It consists of 4 parts: 

    • Suppliers: Who supplies what? 
    • Inputs: What do you need from suppliers? 
    • Processes: How do you put together inputs into outputs? 
    • Outputs: What do you create as a result? 
    • Customers: Targeted or potential customers 

    Consider the following SIPOC diagram for a better understanding of the topic. 

    SIPOC Excel Templates

    A collection of pre-formatted templates called SIPOC Excel Templates makes it simple to generate a SIPOC diagram in Microsoft Excel. They contain everything, from a template for your organization's initial level to templates for every link in your supply chain. There's also an instruction sheet that will walk you through the process of using them. 

    Are you looking for a way to improve your SIPOC analysis? 

    If so, you're in luck! We've got the perfect tool for the job: SIPOC Excel Templates. 

    1. SIPOC Diagram 1 
    2. SIPOC Map 2 
    3. SIPOC Matrix 3 
    4. SIPOC Diagram 4
    5. SIPOC Diagram 5 
    6. SIPOC Diagram 6
    7. SIPOC Diagram 7
    8. SIPOC Diagram 8

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    Importance of SIPOC Tool for Your Organization 

    The SIPOC tool is one of the most effective tools for identifying waste in processes and making improvements. 

    In this section, we'll go over why it's so important to your organization. 

    1. Define the scope of a process

    A process is defined as a set of activities that are performed in a prescribed manner to achieve specific goals. A process may be described as the flow of materials, information, and energy through a system from one stage to the next. It includes all the individual tasks, decisions, and resources needed to achieve an objective. Defining a process's scope helps identify its boundaries and thus helps select activities that can be used as inputs or outputs at different stages of the process.  

    2. Identifies the important inputs, outputs, and internal stakeholders of a process

    The inputs are those resources consumed by the system or used up during processing, and the output is the resource generated at each stage of processing (Goods & services). The important inputs, outputs, and internal stakeholders must be identified to be transformed into measurable elements like time, money and resources, etc., to be tracked throughout their life cycle within an organization or firm.  

    3. Helps to analyze various stages in detail

    SIPOC is a useful tool for process improvement because it helps you to understand the different stages of your process. It can help you to figure out where the bottlenecks are and what causes them. This can help you to improve your processes and make them more efficient. 

    4. An effective tool for problem-solving

    SIPOC is also an effective tool for problem-solving because it allows you to see how different problems affect each stage of your process. Consider this SIPOC example; if there is a problem with one stage of your process, you can use SIPOC to identify whether this impacts any other stages. If so, then this will allow you to solve that problem more effectively. 

    5. Delivers a bird's eye view of the entire structure

    SIPOC is also useful because it gives you a bird's eye view of the whole process, which means that you'll be able to see how all parts of the system fit together and work together as part of an integrated whole (or end-to-end). 

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    The SIPOC diagram is a great tool for any team, whether it's new to the concept of Six Sigma or has been using it for years. If you're looking for courses in Six Sigma training certification, then KnowledgeHut is the right place. We have courses designed by industry experts and will give you all the knowledge you need to understand Six Sigma concepts and apply them in real-life situations. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How is SIPOC used in Six Sigma?

    SIPOC is a tool used in Six Sigma to organize the process of creating a product or service. It helps you identify areas that may need improvement, and it also helps you understand what needs to be done to accomplish your goal. 

    2What is SIPOC with an example?

    SIPOC is a tool that helps you identify the elements of your current process and then evaluate the relationship between these elements. 

    Let's say you want to create a new product for your company. You'll use SIPOC to break down the process into smaller steps and identify which parts of each step need improvement. 

    3What is SIPOC in DMAIC?

    SIPOC tools are used in Six Sigma and DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) projects to help identify where and how waste occurs in a process by identifying all its inputs and outputs and mapping them out. 


    Shivender Sharma

    Blog Author

    Shivendra Sharma, an accomplished author of the international bestseller 'Being Yogi,' is a multifaceted professional. With an MBA in HR and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he boasts 15 years of experience in business and digital transformation, strategy consulting, and process improvement. As a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), he has led multi-million dollar savings through organization-wide transformation projects. Shivendra's expertise lies in deploying Lean and Six Sigma tools across global stakeholders in EMEA, North America, and APAC, achieving remarkable business results. 

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