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Jan 21, 2012

Some Facts About Six Sigma SIPOC

Here are some things you should know about Six Sigma SIPOC. The acronym SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs and Customers) is a high caliber method of doing business that shows how the current process of taking care of the customer actually works. It breaks down exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.

Suppliers will provide inputs into your process. The Inputs will define the service and the material, as well as information that is utilized in order to produce any outputs. This Process will be a defined series of activities that typically adds value to the inputs to make outputs for customers. The Outputs will be the services, products, and/or information which are of value to consumers.

Customers will be the users of these outputs which are produced by these processes. What Six Sigma SIPOC essentially is, is a map of the highest caliber. When a company is going through the motions of improving quality, they will implement this method with great success. It helps the company better understand that what they are implementing is to become more streamlined, which in turn, makes it happen.

The making of a SIPOC diagram is going to be a team activity for you which involves brainstorming in order to find the hard to see details. The team will consist of the stakeholders and other pertinent parties involved with all of this. When implementing SIPOC for new processes under design, it would be a good idea if you start from the customer and go backwards to the supplier. There is a different way though existing process. For this scenario, start with process definition then follow with the identification of your outputs, your customers, your inputs and then suppliers.

Making a process map will take the description of the process to a new level of comprehension. While verbal descriptions can provide the nuts and bolts of this process, a map makes clear the flow of every event in the process. A team will then see if there is a good path for the process or if any obstacles are there in the way of bottlenecks, rework, etc.

One aspect of making a Six Sigma process map within an organization is the expectation that the process within one department can be described in different ways. This might be the outcome of incorporated organizations, and not so much the merging processes. It could simply be the variety of the employees carrying out the process.

One way to document the process is to perform a walk-through with others. Getting together other associates who will perform the process gives them an opportunity to work together in order to provide input into what exactly the steps currently are. It helps builds the variety of the Six Sigma Team.