Using the SIPOC Model

The SIPOC model is used to break down processes into a high level approach prior to beginning any Six Sigma project.  The SIPOC model is an excellent tool to use prior to beginning a project to understand the scope, identify boundaries, create structure, get an overall consensus, and create teamwork.

Before beginning a Six Sigma project, it is important for everyone involved to have a clear understanding of it’s scope. The scope includes the goals of the project.  What are the goals you want to achieve with the project?  The SIPOC diagram will allow you to list everyone involved and determine the goals and scope.  When everyone has a clear understanding, they will more clearly understand their role in the big picture.

Identifying boundaries is very important with any type of project.  The Six Sigma SIPOC model allows you to identify possible boundaries and risks associated with a change or new process.  When you have the ability to identify the boundaries, proper planning can be put in place as prevention measures.  You can even be more prepared for when things do go wrong.

Many projects are started by very quickly.  The problem is that the project is not broken down and steps are not identified.  This increases chances of failure, not meeting a deadline, and can send an employee off on a confusing project he or she has no idea where to begin.  The SIPOC model creates a structured approach to a process.  It is also a structured way to discuss the overall big picture of the processes involved.

When people are not involved in change, they are often upset and this can be a serious roadblock to success.  Everyone in a project should feel involved and be involved.  Using a SIPOC model in a meeting allows everyone to give their feedback but it also allows you to get a general consensus prior to starting the project. This allows management to know who is on board 100%, who might have problems, and those people that might need additional support.

The Six Sigma SIPOC model is ideal for a meeting environment when you are discussing processes or issues that need attention or to be improved.  When you use a model like the SIPOC it allows for teamwork and people to work together by coming up with the different resources.  It also provides a great brainstorming technique to find bottlenecks in systems and think of ways to make improvements.