A SIPOC diagram is a tool used by a team to identify all relevant elements of a process improvement project before work begins. It helps define a complex project that may not be well scoped.
SIPOC stands for supplier, input, process, output, and customer. It’s a high-level map showing a process’s supplier, the inputs received from them, and the process that adds value to those inputs. That process produces an output that meets or exceeds customer requirements. This model is applicable to both product and service processes. Everyone takes inputs from suppliers, adds value through their processing steps, and provides an output or outputs that, at a minimum, meet the customer’s needs (CTQs).
SIPOC Key Concepts
The purpose of developing a SIPOC diagram is the identification of customers and the orientation of the team to the process that will need to be improved in order to achieve project goals. There are two important guidelines for constructing a high-level process map:
Construct the diagram to reflect how the process currently operates (“As-is”), not how it should operate (“To-be”).
Keep the “high-level” process map restricted to roughly four to eight key steps.
This model is applicable to both product and service organizations. It is a series of steps or activities that uses one or more kinds of input and transforms them into an output for the customer. Everyone takes inputs from suppliers, adds value through their process and provides an output(s) that, at a minimum, meets the customer’s need(s) and related critical-to-quality requirements (CTQs).