What is the SIPOC diagram (suppliers inputs processes outputs customers)?

SIPOC diagrams (suppliers inputs process outputs customers) are a visual way to document a process beginning to end before implementation. The SIPOC diagrams, pronounced sigh-pock, are often referred to by the term high-level process map because they don’t contain much detail.

SIPOC diagrams can be used to focus a discussion and help team members understand a process of continual improvement.

SIPOC diagrams are often used in Six Sigma during the DMAIC phase (define, measure, analyze, improve, control). SIPOC diagrams are sometimes used in the reverse direction (COPIS) to map customer value to business processes.

Use of a SIPOC Diagram

SIPOC diagrams can be used for a number of purposes, but the most common is to improve processes continuously. A finished SIPOC map provides a high-level view of a business process. It can be used to identify problem areas, conduct process analysis, and explain business operations to an interested audience.

A SIPOC diagram is also useful when certain parts of a procedure are unclear. This forces member of the team to centralize and identify information, such as contact details for suppliers, project specifications, and target customers.

Benefits of using a SIPOC Diagram

Some of the benefits that come with using a SIPOC chart include:

  • Transparency is increased in an organization.
  • Gives stakeholders an overview of the project.
  • Useful as a tool to train new employees.
  • Supports problem-solving initiatives.
  • Creates a template that can be reused for different processes and projects.
  • Make sure all team members have the same understanding.
Diagram of SIPOC (suppliers inputs processes outputs customers)
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