A3.2. Spaghetti diagrams

Spaghetti diagrams

What should I expect the outcomes to be of using the tool?

A diagram or a map that will highlight potential time saving that could be made in reorganising an area or equipment.

Example

Before 

 

After 

 

Tool/ method

It is a hand drawn or computer drawn diagram showing the movements in a process.  The movements could be information, material or people.

It’s called spaghetti diagram because the result typically looks like a bowl of spaghetti.

Why we may choose to use this tool/ method?

Where you want to track the physical motion of information, material or people in a particular location in order to identify where waste and inefficiencies are happening. 

How you might use this tool/ method?

 Materials required: 

·         a simple plan of the relevant area – you can draw this out roughly on a PC or by hand

·         coloured pens so that different movements can be tracked individually

·         a board or wall near the relevant area where you can display your plan

 

The process:

·         On your area plan, plot the movements of each staff member as they carry out a process, e.g. gathering equipment from a store room

·         Use different colour pens for different processes and journeys 

·         Time how long processes currently take

·         Interview staff in order to understand what they are doing and why they need to make each movement or “journey” across the space

 

Next:

·         With your team, discuss how the area could be arranged and / or the processes redesigned so that movement is reduced and time is saved

·         Plot the newly designed process route onto a plan in a different colour.

·         Quantify the time that could be saved by walking the new route and timing it

·         Translate the time savings into a positive message for the wider team.

What next?

Try the improvements and create a new spaghetti diagram. 

Examples/ case studies/ links to best practice/ evidence

Example of hand-drawn spaghetti diagram drawn on a PC – reception team showing process for finding prescriptions

The red lines represent the journeys made by receptionists to find prescriptions before the space is rationalised. The black lines show fewer journeys once the improvements have been made and the prescriptions have been clearly labelled and placed.

Contact for further information

Rachael Davies, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

rachael.davies@cumbria.nhs.uk 

 

CPS TOOLKIT

Toolkit overview
The purpose of this toolkit
What is the Cumbria Production System?
How can we transform our services?
Cumbria Production System - improvement principles
What improvement outcomes and results can we expect?
When should you use the tools?
Key tool templates and visualisations
Summary of tools
Module 1: Our approach to improvement
1.1 Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)
1.2 After Action Review (AAR)
1.3 Data gathering and evidence and '5 whys'
1.4 Measuring for improvement
1.5 A3
Module 2: Seeing the issues and adding value for the people who use our services
2.1 Maximising value
2.2 Customer Journey Mapping (CJM)
2.3 Process mapping
2.4 Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
Module 3: Waste removal and standardisation
3.1 Waste, waste wheel, waste walk
3.2 Spaghetti diagrams
3.3 5S workplace organisation
Module 4: Flow, demand and standard operations
4.1 Demand analysis
Module 5: Taking people with us
5.1 Stakeholder analysis
Appendices
A. The tools in detail
Module 1: Our approach to improvement
A1.1 Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)
A1.2 After Action Review (AAR)
A1.3 Data gathering and evidence and '5 whys'
A1.4 Measuring for improvement
A1.5 A3
Module 2: Seeing the issues and adding value for the people who use our services
A2.1 Maximising value
A2.2 Patient/ Customer Journey Mapping
A2.3 Process mapping
A2.4 Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
Module 3: Waste removal and standardisation
A3.1 Waste, waste wheel, waste walk
A3.2 Spaghetti diagrams
A3.3 5S workplace organisation
Module 4: Flow, demand and standard operations
A4.1 Demand analysis
Module 5: Taking people with us
A5.1 Stakeholder analysis
C. References and acknowledgements