Posted By: Cheryl Rodgers

Are you new Business Transformation Workstream Leader at the front end of a process design effort and you are not sure where to start? In this case, a useful tool is the SIPOC.

SIPOC is an acronym for –Supplier, Input, Process, Output, and Customer. It is a diagram that encapsulates all of those elements for a process at a high level. This end-to-end high level view of your process is generally not too difficult to build, and it provides several benefits.

We have a high level view of what process our work is focused on. Also, the scope of the project is made clear – in our prescription example we can see that this project includes all of the activities from the time a prescription is received and entered through to the dispensing of the medicine and the Pharmacist counseling.This work effort does not include the writing of the prescription before it is entered into the system or the payment processing after the prescription is dispensed.

We have a clear view of who the customers for a process are and what outputs they receive. We can also see the primary inputs for the process and who supplies them. Our work will be directed at one or all of these elements depending on the type of effort we are undertaking.

As you move forward in your project, you will dive in and get a deeper, more granular view of the process, the outputs and customers, and the inputs and suppliers. But before you get into that more detailed and difficult work, build a SIPOC and ensure that your team, your boss, and any other key stakeholders are in agreement with the scope of work you are proposing. This simple tool with big benefits can help you get off to a good start.