Spaghetti Diagram

Definition of Spaghetti Diagram:

A method that uses a continuous line to trace the path and distance traveled of a particular object or person throughout a process. It is most commonly illustrated on a floor map diagram that contains the entire process you are evaluating; i.e. a manufacturing floor, hospital floor, office layout, etc. The purpose of this Lean Six Sigma tool is to expose inefficient process layouts, unnecessary travel distance between process steps and overall process waste.

How to do it: Start by either printing out or drawing a diagram of the floor plan of the area that contains the process you’re evaluating. Identify the object/person you wish to track and its starting point (or Step #1 of your process) on the map. Start your line and replicate the actual flow of your object/person on the map and continue the line until the completion of the process (your last step). A common mistake in a spaghetti diagram is drawing the line through walls; do not do this, as this does not realistically represent the actual flow of the object/person. If you did it right, you’ll notice that the line will most likely look like a piece of spaghetti, which is where its name is derived from.

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