How To Spaghetti Diagram for a Lean Process

A spaghetti diagram does not pertain to a sophisticated plating of pasta. Instead, a spaghetti diagram refers to a flow chart method that uses several continuous lines that outlines the path in a specific process.

This is ideal for studying the best possible process to make the operation efficient and lean. A spaghetti diagram is normally used by business operations consultants and efficiency experts to assess a company or organization as well as contribute in coming up with the best options to perfect a specific process or operation.

To understand how you can use a spaghetti diagram for a lean process, read the instructions below carefully.

  • Study the map. Look at the area that you need to assess. It is best to have a big copy so you can see all the details, and have several copies as well.
  • Know which process to map first. The map can be used for several processes in the workflow. Amongst these processes, choose one that you will create a diagram for first. Normally, it is best to start with the most commonly used process. This makes the diagram highly useful hence, the time and effort you invest is well worth it.
  • Choose a person involved in the process for the study. As several people can be involved in a single process, choose the one that is involved the most. Have the person with you as you map to verify the current process flow.
  • Identify the current process. Get a copy of the map and map out the current process with the help of the personnel involved. Use a continuous line as you map the steps he does from one area in the map to the next.
  • Measure the time.  Re-enact the process by following the personnel in his usual route.  Measure the time it takes for him to go from one stop to the other and how much time he spends on each stop.  If possible, also measure the distance he travels going to each point as well.
  • Analyze the data. Based on the time and distance, as well as the current process, try to identify how to make it more efficient. Which step takes the most time? How far does one have to travel to get from one point to the next? Knowing all these can help you improve the course. For instance, move the work areas closer, or rearrange the equipment to lessen the travel time. If funds permit, it may be possible to get more advanced tools that functions more proficiently as this will eliminate the possibility of faulty output.
  • Make a spaghetti diagram of the new process. Now that you have an idea on how to improve the process, get a new map and draw the new process using a continuous line. Compare the current and proposed new process.

Implement the changes and make the same analysis. Measure the time and the distance again to check how much the process has improved. Get feedback from the people involved in the process if the new workflow is better than before and how they can improve it.


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