A Spaghetti Diagram is one of the lean tools that are used for process improvements as it visually shows how information, materials and people move on the actual work floor. This visual tool offers a lot of help in identifying poorly laid out work or product paths.
There is no special software needed to create the Spaghetti Diagram as it can be made by hand or in Excel.

Creating the Spaghetti Diagram

If creating the Spaghetti Diagram in Excel start with adjusting the height and width of the rows columns to the same distance to have all cells as squares.

Create Workspace

  • Define the scale you want to work to, e.g. each square representing 10 cm.
  • Draw the boundaries of the workspace as seen below.

Spaghetti Diagram 01

Add Work Points

  • Identify the work point where process activities take place and add them to the map. If on a production floor it would be everywhere machining, manual work etc. take place.
  • Now add all those areas to you layout.

Spaghetti Diagram 02

Draw Process Lines
The next step is to draw all the process lines on to the map to and from the different work points, the information to include are the following.

  • The flow of materials, papers
  • The walking pattern of people
  • Waiting time and stops at different points

They should be drawn in different colours to differentiate the problems from each other.

The name Spaghetti Diagram comes from how it looks after the lines are added, like a bowl of spaghetti.

Improvements with Spaghetti Diagram

Some of the things to consider when analysing the Spaghetti Diagram for process improvement are the following.

  • The most connected work points should be placed as close together as possible.
  • The paths with the longest distance should be relocated to be closer to each other.

The layout is rearranged based on the above and then a new Spaghetti Diagram is drawn up. The new one should look much simple and nothing like a bowl of spaghetti.

Benefits of Spaghetti Diagram

There are several benefits of using a Spaghetti Diagram, I have listed some of them below.

  • Identify non efficient work area layout.
  • It identifies the transport and motion waste in a work area.
  • It improves efficiency of employees.

Spaghetti Diagram is one of the lean tools, if you found it interesting then our 5S Training might be of interest to you. It is usually the first step to take when starting out with lean, as it creates the foundation for further improvements to be implemented.

Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other types of training we provide.

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