A SIPOC diagram is a tool used by a team to identify all critical elements of a process improvement project before work begins.
The tool name prompts the team to think about the:
- Suppliers (the ‘s’ in SIPOC) of your process,
- Inputs (the ‘i’) to the process,
- Process (the ‘p’) your team is improving,
- Outputs (the ‘o’) of the process, and
- The customers (the ‘c’) that receive the process outputs.
- In some cases, requirements of the customers can be added to the end of the SIPOC for further detail.
The SIPOC tool forces the team to think about the various components:
- Who supplies inputs to the process?
- What specifications are placed on the inputs?
- Who are the true customers of the process?
- What are the requirements of the customers?
Steps to Complete the SIPOC Diagram
- Create an area that will allow the team to post additions to the SIPOC diagram.
- This could be flip charts with headings (S-I-P-O-C) written on each, or
- Headings written on post-it notes posted to a wall.
- Begin with the process. Map it in five to seven high level steps.
- Identify the outputs of this process.
- Identify the customers that will receive the outputs of this process.
- Identify the inputs required for the process to function properly.
- Identify the suppliers of the inputs that are required by the process.
- May also identify the preliminary requirements of the customers.
Sample SIPOC Diagram