This technique could change your life for the better.
biggest killers is stress. Thereare two types of stress in my
Spaghetti Diagram - What is
The Spaghetti diagram is a very visual way to depict the material or
information flow, through a process in a diagrammatic form.
I'm sure most of you will remember the ancient Greek tail of Theseus and
Theseus set out to kill the Minotaur in the Labyrinth, his friend Ariadne
gave him a ball of thread to unwind so that he could find his way back, after
completing his task.
On his return if Theseus had drawn on paper all
of the different places that the thread had been, then he
would have created the first Spaghetti map in history!
Imagine attaching a virtual thread to a piece of information, material or person
in your workplace.
A spaghetti diagram is a way of showing what happens to this virtual
thread, as the work moves through
It's called a Spaghetti diagram because the result typically looks like a bowl
Spaghetti Diagram - How Can it Help
The Spaghetti diagram helps identify waste that is often not even
recognised as such. e.g. walking to and
from a printer that is located too far from the people using it.
It helps us determine the physical flow and distance that information and people
travel to process work.
The spaghetti diagram helps us to "see" processes and procedures in a different
The spaghetti diagram can very often help you see waste that you didn't realise
Spaghetti Diagram - Who,When and Why
A representative spaghetti diagram is best put together by using a cross
functional group, who are
intimate with the processes and geography of the area being reviewed.
The Spaghetti diagram can be used at any time to gain clarity and
understanding of your current
In general the Spaghetti diagram is best used when you want to move from
your current state to an
improved future state.
The main reason to create a spaghetti diagram is to document the current
movement of work and people.
It gives us an insight into the distances travelled and the number and locations
that work has to travel to.
It clearly shows transport wastes, and gives us a 20,000 ft view of our
operations which we rarely
encounter on a day to day basis.
Spaghetti Diagram -
You will need to prepare the following ahead of time:
A room with a large enough space to create the Diagram
(Typically big enough for 4-6 pieces
of A! flip chart paper
Creating the Spaghetti Diagram - Step 1 -
1.Join several pieces of flip chart paper together and lay them out on the
(Experience will tell you how big this needs to be)
2.Draw an outline of the area you are looking at roughly to scale.
3. Walk the process to get a 3d feel of what is involved and take notes
regarding the layout of the current
4.Create cut outs (to scale) using the post it's of the various
elements of the workplace, and lay them in
position on the diagram e.g. equipment,storage,materials
5.Once you are happy with their positioning sticky tape the cut outs onto the
6.Decide on a colour key for the various work flows you want to
(use the different coloured string to represent these)
7.Start to build up the diagram by placing the string at your
(sticky tack the string down at the start point)
8.Unwind the string (remember Theseus!) till you get to the next step in
the process and sticky tack it
down. Continue this till you complete the
The reason for using blue tack is that 9
times out of 10 the team will change their mind about what
9.Once you are happy that the string is in the
correct position sticky tape it down.
Sticking it will save you a lot of grief. I promise you it is worth the
little bit of time
10. Analyse the diagram and look for
opportunities to minimise transport waste.
The spaghetti diagram is a great way to identify
It provides a real bird's eye view of your
process, and can give you a great start to identify layout issues
that are creating poor flow, extra travel, and wasted time.
It communicates waste that isn't always obvious,
especially to those that don't actually do the job!
Hope this helps,