Creating a SIPOC Chart

The SIPOC Chart, being one of the fundamental documents of any process improvement project must be developed in such a manner that it is easy to understand. It must also be coherent with the logic inbuilt in the process.

There is a method which has been described to ensure the proper development of the SIPOC Chart. The process is as follows:

  1. Start with Process: Most organizations will have explicit flow charts or process maps which exactly display all the stages of the process. Since the process has been explicitly defined, there will be little ambiguity. This is the reason why it is a good place to begin developing your SIPOC Matrix. List down each activity and event as mentioned in the process map. However, before the listing down process begins it is essential that one verifies the level which needs to be listed down.

  2. List the Metrics Measured at Process Steps: A well-defined process is one in which the management knows what behavior to expect. In management parlance they say what can be measured can be managed. Therefore the correct metrics must be developed that ensure that a look at these numbers will tell you the exact state of affairs within the process. This may not be important in a SIPOC map, but it is essential to know the target metrics before the SIPOC process is completed. Otherwise an iteration would be required and time will be wasted while executing the project.

  3. Complete Outputs with Measurements: The next step is to understand what the ideal output of the process should be. This is difficult to understand because sometimes the customers are not very explicit about their requirements. Once again, it must be ensured that the outputs are not described subjectively. The measurement should be objective. There must be an agreement between the process owners and the customers regarding the objectives which must be clearly defined and unambiguous. Map the outflow both in terms of materials as well as information.

  4. Complete Inputs with Measurements: Based on the outputs work back the inputs that will be required. Once again ensure that you consider both the material as well as information that will be required for the smooth functioning of the process. While you are mapping the inputs, also fill out the suppliers that will provide you with the same. Doing this at each and every stage of the process will help you complete the matrix.

  5. Prioritize and Plan: Once your matrix has been completed, you need to understand that not all inputs or outputs have the same weightage in the eyes of the customer. There are some outputs that the customers consider to be more important than others. Hence more attention needs to paid towards such critical outputs. Therefore outputs and customers must be prioritized. Same is the case with inputs and suppliers.

SIPOC provides immense insight into the process. It is said that insight is the basis of all innovaton. Hence SIPOC can be said to be the cause of innovation.

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