I say “SIPOC” and you say “What?!!”

Moraine Park Culinary instructor Tom Endejan demonstrating rolling dough

Over the last few months Moraine Park Technical College has been working on a Data Clean Up project. This project is reviewing how the college uses the Banner Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Many decisions were made by staff who are no longer here.  Their knowledge and experience walked out the door with them as they ventured on to a new stage of their career.

This has presented an opportunity for the team – to apply what we know today, to redefine how we use the ERP to become more efficient and to document our decisions and why we chose a particular solution.  To address this, the team has started to use a method of the Six Sigma methodology called SIPOC.

S – Suppliers

I – Inputs

P – Processes

O – Outcomes

C – Customers

Take a moment and think of MPTC’s Culinary program and all of the delicious breads, cakes, and pies they create (I mean, just try looking at the photo above and not getting hungry! Yeah right!). Consider what a SIPOC would look like for a Lemon Chiffon Cake, a Blueberry Pie, or a loaf of Sour Dough Bread.  There are similarities but there are differences – each has its own suppliers, inputs, processes, delicious outputs and customers. In many ways a SIPOC is a recipe… A recipe for success.

This method of identifying suppliers, inputs, processes, outputs and customers has been implemented and used for years by many successful companies. A well written SIPOC becomes a “go to” document when questions arise on how to implement a change – whether that is an input, an output, adding a new customer or even training a new member of the team.

Yes, we have a lot of work to do. There are many questions to be asked and many to be answered. In the Data Clean Up project we need to create a number of SIPOC documents so we can provide better output or outcomes to serve our students and our colleagues across the college.  We can’t promise that the output would be delicious like our friends in Culinary but the output/outcomes can certainly be rewarding. Won’t you join us and do the same in your area or department?

So the next time you hear someone say “SIPOC”, you can say “A recipe for MPTC’s success”.

And if you have any questions, feel free to contact The Data Clean Up Project Team.

Written by Michael Fatla