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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What is a SIPOC Diagram?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 33274 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Domain Modeling

ANSWER

The SIPOC diagram is a tool that is used to outline the scope of a process improvement initiative (often as part of a Six Sigma improvement project). The tool captures all of the relevant elements of the process under consideration. When used as part of the Six Sigma methodology, it is typically implemented as part of the Measure phase of the DMAIC process. The diagrams name is an acronym for the elements that need to be identified and documented.

S – Suppliers: Who supplies the inputs to the process under consideration
I – Inputs: What are the inputs to the process
P – Process: What are the steps of the process that is being improved upon
O – Outputs: What are the outputs of the process
C – Customers: Who are the customers or beneficiaries of the outputs of the process

SIPOC Diagram

One common variation of the SIPOC diagram is to append R (Requirements) to the end of the diagram for additional detail. This is a fairly natural extension of this diagram since the team has identified the customers of the process and can naturally begin to identify the needs of each customer.

To create the SIPOC diagram complete the following steps:

1) List the 5 categories in order (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) across the top of a piece of paper or whiteboard. If you choose to include requirements as a sixth category then you will list it last on the far right of the paper or whiteboard.

2) Begin with the Process column. List and number the highest level steps of the process under the process column header. Keep it to 4-7 high level steps if at all possible. If you would prefer, you can reference a diagram for the high level process and insert the diagram at the bottom of the page.

3) Review each step of the process to identify and document the outputs of the process under the Outputs column.

4) Document the customers that will receive or benefit from each output under the Customers column.

5) Next, identify the inputs that the process requires to properly produce the outputs. Capture these under the Inputs column.

6) Document the suppliers of each input under the Suppliers column.

7) If you chose to include a sixth column for requirements, identify and document the high level requirements that each customer has for the process under consideration. Think about why the process exists. What customer need is it intended to fulfill.

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ADDITIONAL ANSWERS / COMMENTS

Srinivas Chakravarthi posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009 12:23 AM
It is sometimes referred to as COPIS.
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.





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