Creating SIPOC models from your LINQ sketch

A typical diagram showing the Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs and Customers involved.

SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs and Customers) is a change management tool which has been around since the late 1980s. Often presented at the outset of process improvement efforts it is used:

  • To give people who are unfamiliar with a process a high-level overview
  • To reacquaint people whose familiarity with a process has faded or become out-of-date due to process changes
  • To help people in defining a new process

SIPOC continues to be used today in Six Sigmalean manufacturing, and business process management.

Despite the value of the visualisation in communicating aspects of the process under improvement, creating the SIPOC remains a manual task:

To generate a SIPOC that is effective requires an effective brainstorming session. During a brainstorming session, team members often fill in SIPOC charts by starting with the center column: Process. The process column is kept simple; ideally, it lists no more than five steps and each step consists of an action and a subject. Once the team agrees upon how the process gets documented, they move on to list the outcomes and customers of the process. Then they work backwards from the center of the diagram to identify the input and suppliers. Because SIPOC diagrams are often completed in this manner, they are sometimes referred to as POCIS, Process, Output, Customers, Inputs and Suppliers diagrams.
Output from a SIPOC brainstorm session captured on a whiteboard

There’s a better way!

Shane Annabell of Transpower, a long-term LINQ customer, has created a Power BI dashboard which creates a SIPOC diagram from a LINQ sketch. As the sketch is updated to accurately represent the process using the concept of Digital Twin of the Organisation, the SIPOC diagram can quickly be refreshed to present the updated content.

A digital SIPOC diagram created in Power Bi directly from content in LINQ

In this way, content which is familiar to the change and improvement communities within the organisation can be generated from a single source of truth – the digital asset captured within LINQ. No more Visio! No more Excel! Significantly reduced pain! Significantly increased value!

The LINQ sketch as the source of truth for the SIPOC model

Shane has kindly agreed to allow me to share his Power BI Dashboard, which you can download here. Existing LINQ users, simply export your sketch to Excel using the Full Export option and change the data source in the Power BI Dashboard to the Excel export from Edit queries >> Data source settings.

The combination of the speed of capture in LINQ, LINQs Insights and this Power BI dashboard aimed specifically at the Change Management and Process Excellent community is a powerful advance on the current tooling available offering significant benefits to your business:

  • Use a familiar language which everyone can understand
  • Reduce modelling rework by creating digital assets from the outset
  • Remove the capture-validate-update-validate loop from your discovery sessions
  • Quickly update SIPOC diagrams as your process definition develops
  • Get your Executive to a decision point faster than ever before
  • Undertake evidence-based change and process excellent using the Digital Twin of your Organisation to drive accurate conversations
LINQ dashboards adding value to SIPOC

Not a LINQ user? Why not try LINQ now? Sign up for your free 30-day trial, create a sketch and try out this SIPOC dashboard for yourself!