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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Durant

How to supercharge your SIPOC process! 🚀

Hopefully, you are all familiar with the Six Sigma tool, SIPOC. If not, here's a quick recap.

A SIPOC sits alongside process mapping as a way to generate insights to help improve processes Where process mapping is a detailed step-by-step diagram of the process, a SIPOC takes a few steps back to view the whole system. Below are the simple steps for the SIPOC process, and then a tip to 10x the benefit of the SIPOC:

  1. Pick a process or system so you have definite boundaries - a clear start- and end-point help maintain focus

  2. Suppliers - the first stage of the process is listing all suppliers of goods and services into the system. Raw material suppliers, contractors, service providers etc. can be listed here.

  3. Inputs - the next stage is to list all inputs into the system. This will include: specific raw materials, labour, energy, systems, production orders, documents etc.

  4. Process - the central part of the SIPOC is the actual process. The purists will say keep to 5-7 steps but I say use whatever detail works for you. Remember, you're gaining insights to improve the process, not satisfy the requirements of a model

  5. Outputs - following the process stage, capture the outputs which will include: products, waste, noise, emissions, reports etc.

  6. Customers - finally, capture the recipients of the process. This is likely to include internal customers as well as external customers along with service providers.

Most people will stop here to admire the pretty picture, and you will certainly have a much better view of the system than most, but here's the tip for getting a huge amount more from the process:

Pick a business requirement and ask how the system delivers (or not) at each stage...

For example, you might pick "Data & Reporting" as the requirement. By working through the whole SIPOC again, with data & reporting as your lens, you will focus on Suppliers, Inputs, your own Process, Outputs and Customers and where gaps, opportunities for improvement, duplication, pointless activities etc. exist, which can then be turned into actions. If you use several different business requirement lenses, you will generate a huge improvement programme. This is how you create opportunity from your SIPOC and save it just being wallpaper.

By using this approach, and then moving into Process Mapping, you are certain to generate so much insight and truckloads of improvement ideas!

If that all sounded like gobbledygook, no problems. Get in contact (book a 30-minute call below) and I can help your business go through the process to see what opportunities we can uncover for you!

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