SIPOC template

Don’t just go through the motions of your business processes—improve them so they’re as efficient as possible. With a SIPOC template, you can optimize your SIPOC process for faster decision-making and a better customer experience.

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[Old Product UI] SIPOC diagram example image (Boards)

If you’ve been in business for a long time, your processes are probably like muscle memory—you can go through the motions without even thinking about it. But even though you know them inside and out, your stakeholders might not. Outlining these motions can help show stakeholders exactly how you operate, so there’s less room for confusion. 

Which is where your SIPOC template comes in—a tool to help you visualize and optimize crucial operation processes. 

What is a SIPOC diagram?

A SIPOC diagram provides a high-level view of customer-centric steps for shipping, inputs, process, outputs, and customers. The purpose is to give stakeholders a big-picture idea of how your processing works, without getting into specific details. SIPOC diagrams are often used in the “define” stage of Six Sigma or other types of lean project management—project management frameworks that streamline processes to reduce errors or inconsistencies in the end-product. 

SIPOC is an acronym that stands for:

  • Suppliers: The inputs that kickstart the process.

  • Inputs: The resources your process needs to operate.

  • Process: The process overview.

  • Outputs: The results and outcomes of the process.

  • Customers: The people who receive the outputs or benefits.

SIPOC diagrams are visual tools. The diagram operates like a flowchart or process map, moving from one component of your process to another with only the relevant elements and high-level steps involved in each.

Benefits of using a SIPOC template

If you use SIPOC diagrams regularly, you’re better off creating a template than making a new one every time. Not only because this will save you time and energy (which, spoiler, it will), but also because it aligns with the lean Six Sigma methodology—if the idea behind Six Sigma is to minimize errors in process outputs, using a template for your SIPOC diagrams greatly reduces human error. With a template, it doesn’t matter who creates the SIPOC diagram—you know it will be consistent.

How to use your SIPOC template

Your SIPOC template supports business process management—a way to analyze and improve your business processes. As part of your business process management, you can use your SIPOC template to ensure that the processes outlined in your SIPOC diagrams are consistent and up to your standards. After you finetune your SIPOC model and save it as a template, team members can then use this template to create a new diagram to document each SIPOC process.

Incorporating your SIPOC template into your business process workflow simplifies and streamlines how you create SIPOC diagrams. By building your template in work management software, you can easily duplicate your template with a click of a button, share it with stakeholders, and coordinate your processes across teams. You can even assign team members specific steps, so others know the point person for every component of your SIPOC process.

Example use case for your SIPOC template: Car manufacturer

Once you create a SIPOC template, you can duplicate it every time you create a new business process that you think needs to be documented. Let’s use a car manufacturer as an example. You can use your template to create a SIPOC diagram that gives a high-level process overview of the key steps involved in getting a car from the customer order all the way to outputs of this process.

  • Suppliers: The suppliers for this example would likely be customers, manufacturers, and other businesses you use for your materials.

  • Inputs: Here, list what goes into making a car. Think beyond physical materials, such as customer requirements and pricing.

  • Process: What steps do you take to get your materials from raw goods into a car? 

  • Outputs: Simplified, the outputs of your car manufacturing process would be the end results of the production process. In this case, your customer getting the car and your car company receiving payment.

  • Customers: Who’s receiving the benefits of this process? You’d include the car-buying customer, car dealerships, and your company here.

Integrated features

  • Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.

  • Reporting. Reporting in Asana translates project data into visual charts and digestible graphs. By reporting on work where work lives, you can reduce duplicative work and cut down on unnecessary app switching. And, because all of your team’s work is already in Asana, you can pull data from any project or team to get an accurate picture of what’s happening in one place.

  • Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.

  • Project Overview. Project Overview is your one-stop-shop for all important project context. Give your team a bird’s-eye view of the what, why, and how of your project work. Add a project description to set the tone for how you’ll work together in Asana. Then, share any important resources and context—like meeting details, communication channels, and project briefs—in one place.

Recommended apps

  • Dropbox. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.

  • Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

  • OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.

  • Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack. 

FAQs

What does SIPOC stand for in SIPOC templates?

SIPOC is an acronym that stands for suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, and customers. In a template, these are the names of your sections. When you use your template to create a new SIPOC diagram, you list the general steps for each process in their respective sections.

How do you use a SIPOC template?

Use a SIPOC template to create new SIPOC diagrams as needed. You can save your SIPOC template in a project management software to quickly and easily launch new diagrams with the click of a button. Then, fill out the information in your SIPOC diagram and share with team members and stakeholders for a transparent, simplified process.

Do I need to use software to make a SIPOC template?

You don’t need software for your SIPOC template, but using it will save you time and energy, and streamline your workflow. When you create your SIPOC template in project management software, you can easily use it to launch a new diagram. This means less time spent on the unnecessary tasks of creating and sharing new documents.

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