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SIPOC Template

Identify all the relevant elements of a process improvement plan. Use this visual tool to document the working process from beginning to end.

About the SIPOC Diagram Template

The SIPOC model brings transparency and alignment to a process. This template offers a quick, convenient way to create a SIPOC diagram with minimal fuss. Use this visual tool to document the inputs and outputs of a process, and share the final product with the rest of your team.

What is a SIPOC diagram?

A SIPOC diagram is a tool that enables you to summarize the inputs and outputs of a process in the form of a stylized table. This allows teams to identify relevant aspects of a process improvement project before starting work. SIPOC is useful when defining a complicated project that wasn't necessarily well-scoped.

SIPOC is an acronym that stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers. The name invites a team to think about the suppliers of your process, the inputs to the process, the process itself, the outputs that you produce, and the customers who receive those outputs.

A SIPOC diagram can help you answer questions like:

  • Who supplies inputs to this process?

  • Who are the customers?

  • What are their needs?

  • What specifications are placed on inputs?

What does a SIPOC diagram include?

SIPOC diagrams are useful tools. Their structure is intuitive but adaptable. To construct a SIPOC diagram, draw a table with five columns. Label each column: Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers.

Suppliers - Who supplies the inputs? It’s important to make a note of any specific suppliers whose input directly impacts the output. For example, let’s say you’re making a SIPOC diagram for the process of “baking an apple pie.” If the supplier impacts your “taste” output, you should list that supplier.

Inputs - What inputs are required for the process to function? List four to six inputs that you must have to complete the process.

Process - What is the process? Write down the name of the process and describe its key steps. List the steps from beginning to end. It’s important to make sure you know the start and endpoint of your process so you can complete the rest of the diagram. While it’s not necessary to go into exhaustive detail, you should make sure you’re hitting all the main points.

Outputs - What are the outputs of the process? As in the Inputs section, focus on 3 to 5 key outputs. If you write down more than that, you risk oversaturating the diagram. If you write down fewer, you won’t have much to work with when analyzing the diagram.

Customers - Who benefits from the process? Remember, these don’t have to be literal customers (though they often are). If you’re building a SIPOC diagram to help develop an internal process, for example, the “customers” might actually be your coworkers. Other useful methods to better understand your customers include the Customer Problem Statement Template and the Voice of the Customer Template.

Benefits of using a SIPOC diagram

Here’s how your team can benefit from using the SIPOC Template:

A SIPOC diagram is a great visual tool for bringing a process into focus before any actions are taken. It offers an excellent preproduction stage that allows for issues to be ironed out in advance.

A SIPOC diagram can act as an improvement tool for processes or projects that have already been completed. Even if a process or workflow was a success, the diagram still provides an easy way to find areas for improvement.

Project teams and individuals involved are made aware of all aspects of the project or process in an easily understood and quickly digested visual tool format. The SIPOC Template provides a full perspective for your team on a single page.

The tool helps your team identify all persons or organizations that will be providing input into a process. This helps everyone understand what input they are providing and how that input relates to all other aspects of the process.

Customer requirements aren't only identified, but specific expectations are also highlighted. Therefore, all parties involved can appreciate the ultimate goal of the process and aim toward it more efficiently.

Create your own SIPOC diagram

Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of how to use the SIPOC Diagram Template to create your own diagram:

  1. The Miro SIPOC Diagram Template is arranged under the appropriate letters. That is: S for Suppliers, I for Inputs, P for Process, O for Outputs, and C for Customers. Beneath each letter is an editable box where relevant information may be entered. Remember to share the template with the necessary people so they can enter information as they see fit.

  2. By simply clicking a text box under S, that box can be expanded, moved, or text may also be entered. It’s also easy to add new text boxes as is required. The same can be done for the Input area, the Output area for process outputs, and the Customers area.

  3. The Process area is already arranged for an appropriate process chain, allowing information to be quickly and easily entered. Since the idea is to identify each step in a process from start to finish, others can add steps in an automatically growing chain.

  4. Once the first step is identified, the blue circle can be clicked to automatically add another step in the process. This can be repeated until all steps of the process have been entered. The process will then be displayed in an easily understood visual format.

Example of a well-utilized SIPOC diagram

Using the SIPOC diagram to map the entire operation of a business ensures that every step of a process is outlined, and the stakeholders at each point are clearly defined.

Let’s look at an example of how a sales contact center might use the diagram:

S - SUPPLIER - Customers supply the input based on the product or service they have been supplied. The service or product directly impacts the output of the customer.

I - INPUTS - Customer service representatives require customer data, product information, order details, product databases, communication channels (e.g., email, live chat, telephone), communication tools, and product knowledge and training.

P - PROCESS - Customer service representatives receive communication from customers > information is exchanged > information is entered into the database > details of support, customer service, or sales assistance are supplied > a solution is reached, or a change is effected.

O - OUTPUTS - Customer data is captured, the product or customer database is updated, and any order information is captured. If a new order needs to be placed, this is done, and important information is recorded and updated.

C - CUSTOMERS - Customers who have purchased a product or service benefit, as does the service provider or manufacturer. Customer feedback helps to improve product offerings, correct errors or issues, and ensure better customer satisfaction.

Having the process mapped out like this creates a clear diagram that allows for the identification of any gaps that arise when meeting customer needs. The sales contact center can then adapt its processes. The data they gather can ensure that future customer requirements are met.

What is SIPOC used for?

The SIPOC Diagram is used to plot out the various steps of a process. It includes everyone involved in the process, as well as specific customer requirements. The diagram can serve either to effectively visualize a process before it is acted on or to improve a process that's already in effect. It isn't necessary to include detailed steps when creating a diagram but rather to identify all persons and parties involved.

What do I do after SIPOC?

Depending on what the SIPOC Diagram is used for, the steps that follow will differ. If the diagram was used to plan a process, the next step would be implementation. This would include contacting relevant parties, informing them of the strategy, and moving forward into action. It’s a good idea to provide all parties with the finished SIPOC Diagram for reference. If the SIPOC Diagram was used to improve an existing process, the next steps would be to inform all parties involved of any inefficiencies or problems uncovered and agree steps to tackle them. Again, providing the diagram would be necessary.

What is the difference between SIPOC and a process map?

A SIPOC diagram is different from a process map, otherwise called a flow chart, in several ways. Essentially, a process map is a simplified version of a SIPOC diagram, identifying only the steps involved in a process. A SIPOC Diagram aims to identify the process and the parties involved in each step.

SIPOC Template

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