How do you visualize the flow in a process before and after improvements? The Spaghetti Diagram to the rescue! The concept is basic, but the Spaghetti Diagram is quite useful.
What is a Spaghetti Diagram?
It is a line diagram superimposed on the process layout in order to map the flow in the steps of providing a product or service.
- Captures visual flow of the process
- Suggests how to declutter and rearrange the physical layout
- Documents distances traveled and time spent
- Can be used to document touch points
- Improved flow will reduce cycle time
How to Develop and Use a Spaghetti Diagram:
Ian James Johnson, currently Business Development Manager at Element Materials Technology, takes us through how to construct a Spaghetti Diagram using a manufacturing example in this video.
- Step 1: Map the shop floor
- Step 2: Using the process map, use sequential numbers to label each one of the steps in flow order on the shop floor map
- Step 3: Measure the distances
- Step 4: Measure the actual time it takes to go from step to step, including any time an employee has to have a sign off or wait. This is not just the travel time to cover the distances!
Spaghetti Diagrams are used in conjunction with other tools:
- Process Maps
- Value Stream Maps
- 8 Wastes
Here are two other examples of Spaghetti Diagram use:
Finally, there are other major benefits to the Spaghetti Diagram as reproduced from page 74 of Mapping, development and optimization of internal logistics in a multi-stage production facility by Nils Jönsson & Björn Hofbard.
The Spaghetti Diagram is not just a simple tool suitable for analysing and improving a flow, but also a tangible support for both operational staff and top management to get an overview of operations and connections between different processes and activities. Providing staff with a holistic picture of a flow could decrease silo thinking and a more collaborative approach between the different departments could be achieved
You can access the full report here.