This tool helps define a complex project that may not be well scoped, and is often used in six sigma analysis in the Measure phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology.

SIPOC is an abbreviation of: Suppliers – Inputs – Process – Outputs – Customer, which is also known as COPIS.

Supplier: Internal / external suppliers to the process.

Inputs: Inputs to the process. This can include information, forms, materials, etc.

Process: The means that convert the inputs into outputs in order fulfill your customer’s needs.

Outputs: Internal / external customers to the process.

The SIPOC tool is particularly useful when it is not clear:
  • Who supplies inputs to the process?
  • What specifications are placed on the inputs?
  • Who are the true customers of the process?
  • What are the requirements of the customers?

Summary of Benefits2

  • SIPOC is a template for defining a process, before you begin to map, measure or improve it.
  • It helps define the boundary of the problem being analyzed.
  • It’s a structured way to discuss the process and get consensus during a meeting/session.
  • It can help provide a structure when facilitating meetings.
  • It provides a visual representation of the problem.

SIPOC’s Limitations

Since SIPOC’s only a high-level view, there’s still a need to do detailed process mapping. It’s also important to understand the processes that feed into it.

Example SIPOC3

external image process.gif