SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers)

SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers)

Purpose: The SIPOC Diagram is a high-level process map. This first step in addressing customer-related issues takes a process view of how our company goes about satisfying a particular customer requirement.

SIPOC stands for:
Suppliers – individuals or groups who provide whatever is worked on in the process
Inputs – information or material provided for that step
Process – steps used to do that work

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Combing through an old process map to distinguish where big data solutions may be effective.

Using a process map or a blueprint as a launchpad for analysis is a wonderful way of utilizing the tool. Lindsay and I took a quarter long break between making this process map for the Savannah Food Co-op and now; we have a new perspective on the business process now.

Lesson: service design is about zooming in and zooming out. Zoom in on specific service encounters and out in order to view the system as a whole. Tools can be reused and repurposed!

Watch the flow (Flow Charts - Basic Creation / Use)

Watch the flow (Flow Charts – Basic Creation / Use)

Almost every process has a flow. Whether is writing this blog, or how the mail gets delivered on a daily basis. Flow is the definition of the movement of an item through a process. Good flow would be easy transitions, and, of course, bad or poor flow would mean that the process does not allow the item to smoothly move or there is resistance based on design.

I have used flow charts to trouble…

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Mapping the As-Is: “Genchi Genbutsu”!

I have tried different approaches in mapping current process and there are pros and cons in each approach. Sometimes the approach depends on the nature of the project or urgency or availability in some cases, or even willingness. Let me give some examples and tell what works better for me.

When you need to start quickly but have the buy-in from senior levels and from the Process Champion you can get a good overview (and this becomes a shortcut) from the Managers. Usually in 1 or 2 meetings it’s possible to visualize the end-to-end process and most likely to obtain the names from each department involved in the process. Then, the next step is to contact them to obtain information (I will try to describe how later on).

When you need to start quickly but don’t have a good top-down support, the good approach is to identify the main departments where the key activities or decisions are concentrated. Then, I usually book a meeting with the manager of that department to discuss my plan and identify a key resource from that team. The next step is to sit with this resource to get an overview, names and a draft of the flow. Based on my experience, it’s possible to obtain a lot of info in 3 or 4 “interviews”. On the first 2 interviews you have an overview and clarify few questions for consistency, on the 3rd interview you can see the process/flow, and finally on the 4th visit you can see the tools, decision points, integrations, etc.

I keep in mind 2 concepts: Genchi Genbutsu and Socratic Method

Genchi Genbutsu

Instead of having endless meetings with the managers and trying to match agendas and going in details very rarely, I prefer to visit the processor and have a good conversation. I like to see the process working and talk to the person who lives the inputs, processing, decisions, escalations, delays, and outputs. Most likely the processor is the person who interacts with other departments and can help you to expand your relationship. I call “open doors”.

Socratic Method

For me, this is key for Process Analysis. Basically this method is like interviewing and asking different questions to obtain what you need. Keep in mind an article published a few years ago by Harvard Business School named “Staple Yourself to an Order” to help you visualize the steps in your flow.

Don’t forget to log complains, opportunities for improvement, and issues in general provided by the processors.


Notes I need to write -Sketchbook- Process Map-

Getting tired of the monotony.
Need to make something happen.
(If for some reason you’re reading this, you don’t really need to, it’s not for anyone to read exactly, just to get it out of my head, what I’d usually write in a sketchbook.  So read on if you like, but it might not make any sense for you).

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AIGA/NY Mentor program Diagram

I wanted to join this AIGA/NY Mentor program for the past 2 years, but the application always intimidated me. This year I finally got myself to fill out the application. I wanted to explain the process of becoming a mentor using diagram, so that people will not be intimidated by the process and more professionals will join the program. Do you want to be a Mentor? It is not too bad. I will guide you step by step.

My first attempt

My Second attempt

My Final Diagram!

The Process Map as a Root Cause Tool

by Michael Carter

When you think of root cause tools, does process map come to mind?  Apart from being used to document a current or future state process, it is also used as a communication tool.  I ask all teams to construct a process map as a way to keep the teams aligned with the project scope.  The added benefit I’ve come to understand is …

its use as a root cause tool.   But first, a few basics.  When constructing a process map, always begin with “Start” – a designated or easily identified starting point for the process under consideration (i.e. the beginning of scope).   Staying at a high level, continue to document the process steps and decision points through to the end of the scope which is clearly labeled with “End”.  Keep the process map at a high level in the beginning (10 process steps or less) because the project may never require more detail and if time is invested now, it may be a waste.  If more detail is required later in the project, a detailed process map may be necessary.

Once the map is finished, it is time to look at it through the eyes of one looking for root cause.  To do that, ask:

Where do the handoffs occur?

Where is data transformed?

Where is special attention required by operators?

Where are the inputs not clear?

Where are the outputs not clear?

Where are the instructions not clear?

Where is specialized training required?

Where is special handling required?

Where is the process confusing?

Where are the specification limits non-existent or poorly defined?

Where is unusual behavior required?

Where does inconsistency frequently appear?

Where is rework built into the process?

Where is QC or inspection built into the process?

These are areas for delay, mistakes, defects, mis-communication, throughput and process velocity problems.  Use these questions as a starting point for your root cause discussion and be amazed at how often root cause is discovered.


Drómos - An immersive performance by Maotik and Fraction

Let’s Talk About Maps

So in my last post, I was talking about putting limits on exactly how far the players can travel. While I was writing that post I thought up a sort of solution.

I plan to set my campaign on a series of deserted islands. As the plot goes on, eventually more islands will be added. It’s one of the simplest ways I could think of to control how far the players can roam without restricting them.

Now, let’s talk about map generation:

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DURATIONS - AV PERFORMANCE by Maotik & Metametric

In his article “On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems,” Kurt Gödel proved that this goal is unobtainable. Gödel illustrated that any system powerful enough to encompass the whole numbers as well as being complete would be inconsistent, and if consistent must be incomplete. He attained these results by showing that metamathematics could be mapped into mathematics itself, eliminating the sharp demarcation of the two and subjecting the system to paradox.

This mapping (or Gödel Numbering) is based upon the theorem that any natural number greater than 1 is either a prime or a unique product of primes. The process of mapping an axiomatic system into arithmetic is quite involved but the overall mechanism can be outlined as follows: First, assign a number to each symbol in the system. Second, convert every formula in the system to a unique number; for instance, assign 1 to ∈, 3 to a, and 5 to P, then for the formula a ∈ P we would have the sequence of numbers 3,1,5. Now assign to this formula a unique natural number by using the theorem of primes. Gödel’s method would produce the number 2³*3¹*5⁵ = 75,000 by using the first three primes. Whenever we run across the number 75,000 it can be converted into a product of primes in only one way, that is, 2³*3¹*5⁵, which gives us the sequence of numbers 3,1,5, which is the formula a ∈ P. In a similar manner, a proof could be converted into a unique product of primes. So, from the number of a proof, we could reconstruct the formulas of the proof. Gödel then converted metamathematical statements into arithmetic. By converting statements about arithmetic into arithmetic the self-referential nature of formulation becomes clear: It is like a snake swallowing its own tail.

Gödel then showed how to construct a statement G that says that the statement with the Gödel number k is not provable. But, G has the Gödel number k, so G says of itself that it is not provable. Like Eubulides’s Liar, Gödel produced a ‘mathematical liar’ that asserts: “This statement is unprovable.” If the statement is true it is not provable, and if it is not provable it is true. Hence, the statement is true if and only if it is provable. The formal system to which this assertion belongs is consistent only if it is incomplete.

After establishing his ‘mathematical liar’, Gödel then showed that these results apply to any system that can under some scheme be mapped into arithmetic. Closed systems maintain their consistency at the price of completeness.


Winrich - “Self-reference and the incomplete structure of neoclassical economics” (1984), p. 991

On p. 992 he cites a very intriguing result from model theory:

[T]he Lowenheim-Skolem theorem…implies that an axiomatic system permits essentially different interpretations than the one intended. […] Each axiomatic system contains undefined terms; it was believed that the axioms defined these terms implicitly, but the axioms are insufficient.

The rest of the paper is pretty much “the poor man’s Niklas Luhmann.”