SIPOC: The most powerful underutilized tool

So I’m sure you’ve all heard of process maps, but how many have heard of the SIPOC?

Here’s why I believe the SIPOC is one of the most powerful tools that’s underutilized…

First, a process map is only focused on the actual process steps themselves.

A SIPOC, on the other hand, covers much much more:

(S)uppliers, (I)nputs, (P)rocess, (O)utputs, (C)ustomers

After laying out your process steps, you can identify what comes out (Outputs) of each process step and who receives those outputs (Customers).

Important note: Customers are both internal (employees) and external (paying clients).

Next, you identify what goes into (Inputs) each process step and who supplies (Suppliers) them.

Now, if you compare the above with what would have been captured in a process map you’ll see we’re getting a TON more valuable information with the SIPOC tool.

The best part? It’s a very collaborative tool that can be used with an entire team of people.

It’s not uncommon for specific painful inputs to be identified through this process, leading to some really awesome improvement ideas!


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