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Use a your Block Diagram template (BlockDiagram.xlsx)
to create a simple, visual, high-level sketch of a process showing only the Major Steps, their sequence, number of operators, inventory levels, cycle time, and perhaps just a little more optional information.
Sample block diagram example
Why not just draw by hand?
For the same reasons that you use any software
to remind your team of all the factors you are supposed to consider in every block diagram
and understandable, even to people who didn't participate in drawing it
to remind your team of how to do this (infrequent) process improvement activity
How to use your
Also known as a block diagram template, or block diagram software
Find and open your template
Find and open your Block Diagram template
in the same way that you find and open your other 150+ Systems2win templates.
Save your working document
following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders
Open a Blank Sheet
When you're ready to start doing your own real work...
click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'
Excel Ribbon > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet
This blank sheet is where you will do your real work
(not on the Sample sheet)
Rename your new sheet.
Or... Insert Sheet
As an alternative to opening a stand-alone document (as instructed above), you also have the option to Insert Sheet into any other Excel workbook.
If English is not your preferred language
Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.
Now your team is ready to start using your
Observe the Process
Using one of your Time Study templates, physically go to the place where the work is done.
Do not use existing process documentation or past memories.
Go to the gemba.
Sketch the Major Steps of the Process
Use one block for each sub-process.
For more sub-processes, simply copy & paste columns.
Enter a brief description in each Process Box.
A block diagram should not be overly detailed.
There shouldn't be decision branches or layout measurements.
Just one box for each Major Step.
Familiar Microsoft Excel
Use everything you know about familiar Word and Excel
Enter some minimal information for each Step
Who does it? Where?
How much inventory? Where?
Maybe just a little more optional information that you believe to be very relevant.
Optionally use symbols to make your block diagram more visual.
Use everything you know about how to use Excel as a drawing tool.
Observe the Cycle Time
Using your Cycle Time Observations template, (ObservCycles.xlsx)
Choose one point in the process (usually the point where the finished product emerges), and use a stop watch to record how long it takes for another finished product or batch to emerge.
No matter what "unusual" things happen during the cycle, just record how long it takes.
Then enter the lowest repeatable time in the Cycle Time field on your Process Block Diagram template.
Lowest repeatable time is usually the second-to-the-fastest observed cycle.
If there is a sub-process that has a different Cycle Time, then record both the Default Cycle Time for the primary process, and the unique Cycle Time for the sub-process.
Do any other Process Analysis
The Block Diagram is almost never used as a stand-alone tool.
It is almost always used in conjunction with other Process Analysis Tools.
Improve the Process
The ultimate objective is to actually improve the process.
Like every other lean tool and method...
the primary benefit is to stimulate people to ask Hansei questions for Lean Thinking.
Other tools often used
Tool Selection Matrix
Perhaps use your Tool Selection Matrix (1ToolSelection.xlsx) to identify a few possible choices for how to approach the various challenges that you might encounter.
Rather than trying to cram too many details into your block diagram, use your Process Analysis template to highlight and measure ANY metrics that are important to the success of YOUR process.
Other tools to consider
To show your floor plan layout, (perhaps also showing work flow travel paths), use your spaghetti diagram template
To show more details about the process flow, and perhaps decision branches, use one of your many Systems2win flow chart templates
Swim Lane Functional Flow Chart
To show how a process gets handed off between multiple people and/or departments, use your swim lane functional flowchart template
This block diagram template comes with many other useful Process Improvement Tools
to empower every team member to improve every process in your organization
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New User Training
Your Systems2win templates come with free New User Training
to quickly learn features that are common to all 150+ templates