A SIPOC is a process mapping tool to help visualize a process and its influences. Typically you do not want more than 7 steps.

  • S: Suppliers provide inputs to the process.
  • I: Inputs define the material, service and/or information that are used by the process to produce the outputs.
  • P: Process is a defined sequence of activities, usually adds value to inputs to produce outputs for the customers.
    • Only 7 steps here. Any more is hard to follow. You can use an Affinity Diagram to reduce larger processes to a few key steps.
  • O: Outputs are the products, services, and/or information that are valuable to the customers.
    • What do clients pay for?
    • Must do for every client type / area of your company.
  • C:Customers are the users of the outputs produced by the process

SIPOC Video Overview

Internal inputs and processes are usually easy for a DMAIC team to access in the define phase. Suppliers are usually cooperative with their data – you’re paying them! There are usually difficulties in collecting useful customer information. There are unintended end users of products and services. A variety of different information gathering tools and techniques may need to be applied.

Example SIPOC

  • S: Hosting company, designer, developer, graphic artist, internet provider, phone company, coffee shop, bidding sites, boutique code / apps, user feedback & design reviews, shopping cart, payment processor
  • I: Design, Logos, content, code
  • P:
    • Meet with client, understand needs;
    • measure current state;
    • Competitor / SEO research;
    • present &agree to options;
    • Develop; Deliver & get feedback
  • O: Website, mobile website, back end website, database, scheduling utilities, email newsletters, social media profiles
  • C: The customer, website visitors

SIPOC and Process Mapping

How the Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer (SIPOC) sequence affects process mapping.

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