Process Maps show the functional relationships between inputs and outputs. A Six Sigma Current State Process Map is a picture that identifies the steps, inputs & outputs, and other details that show how a process works. These Current State Maps provide a step-by-step picture of the process “as is.” The Map documents the hidden factors identifies opportunities for process improvement. Before we go any further, please review this 8-slide Process Map Development Guide.
What are inputs and outputs?
Inputs are the basic resources (products, material, services or information) needed to complete a task, make a product, or perform a job. Outputs are the products, material, services, or information provided to the customer (internal or external). Think of taking tomatoes (input) and making a can of tomato soup to sell to customers (output). This seems simple enough, but there are processes involved in making this can of soup.
- Y = f (x) is used to characterize a process and the functional relationship of inputs and outputs
- What does this mean? Y (outputs) equals a function of X (inputs)
- X’s are inputs
- Y’s are outputs
- Outputs are a function of inputs
- Variation in X’s cause variation in Y’s
- The product depends on the process!
- Big Y or Overall Process Output (Top Level, Process Map)
- characterizes the product at the finished stage
- a measurable or observable output characteristic
- results oriented
- Little y or In-Process Output (Detailed or Lower Level, Process Map)
- characterizes the product during each interim step of the process, prior to the finished stage
- a measurable or observable characteristic
- Big X or Process Input (Top Level, Process Map)
- an input to the overall process
- a measurable characteristic, countable, observable
- Little x or In-Process Input (Detailed or Lower Level, Process Map)
- Little x or In-Process Input
- an input to an interim step of the process
- a measurable characteristic (also countable, observable)
Before you start this assignment, download and review the Six Sigma Process Map templatewhich includes both a top and lower/detailed level process map. This template is a PowerPoint file since most Six Sigma presentations use this format. You will use this template for your assignment.
Assume you are a quality analyst for the same company that you used for your Project Charter in Unit 1. Go back to your Unit 1 Project Charter file. Look for the problem area in your Unit 1 Project file.
You must develop a top level, current state process map to illustrate the overall process step (inputs, and outputs) for the same problem area in your Unit 1 Project file.
Download and use the Process Map Template.
Your Six Sigma Current State, Process Map should include each of the following:
- Top Level Process Step (e.g., manufacturing air bags, cell phones)
- Boundaries, Beginning and Ending (e.g., cell phone battery procurement to installation)
- Top Level Inputs (e.g., battery or air bag raw material supplier, manufacturing or assembly)
- Top Level Outputs (e.g., defect-free cell phone, air bag)