Spaghetti!

Who doesn’t love the stuff?   Bringing in to the workplace?  Even better.

But (and you probably suspected this) I’m not talking about the divine combination of durum wheat, eggs and water.  Nope.  Today we are talking about spaghetti diagrams.

Spaghetti diagrams are one of those manufacturing Lean tools that can be adapted to the transactional environment, but for some reason is rarely used.  But they are great at taking abstract workflows and turning them into visual maps.  They can help you figure out where your process bottlenecks are in a way that a process map can’t.  (Sorry, process maps.  I still love you.  Don’t be mad.)

Let’s take a look at how to use this tool in the manufacturing world.  We’ll come back another time and look at their use in the transactional world.

What does it do?

The purpose of this tool is to track movement of materials.  As I’m sure you’re aware, Transportation is one of the classic “deadly wastes.”  (If you didn’t know that, or just need a refresher, head back to the Transactional Lean post for an overview.) The idea is to map out the physical movement of people and materials in your workflow.

Here’s a look at the template I use…

Too simple?  OK, let’s fill one out.  So, to start, you…um…see, you want to print this out, and then….hmm.  OK, not so easy to explain.  Here, just watch this….

 

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