Lean Tools for process improvement


Block Diagram

Block diagram creator for a
functional block diagram or process block diagram

What is a Block Diagram?

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.

Block Diagram

Sample block diagram example

Why use a Block Diagram creator?

Why not just draw by hand?

For the same reasons that you use any software

  1. To have a standardized process

    to remind your team of all the factors you are supposed to consider in every block diagram

  2. So that your end product is legible

    and understandable, even to people who didn't participate in drawing it

  3. To have help and training

    to remind your team of how to do this (infrequent) process improvement activity

How to use your

Block Diagram template

Also known as a block diagram template, or block diagram software

Find and open your template

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

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

Systems2win menu > 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 bar > 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

Functional Block Diagram template

Observe the Process

Time Observation template  Process Observation template

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.

Familiar surroundings

Familiar Microsoft Excel

Use everything you know about familiar Word and Excel

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.

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

Cycle Time Observations worksheet

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

Time to reflect

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.

Tool Selection Matrix
PDCA Coaching template
Process Analysis

Other tools often used

with the Block Diagram

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.

Kata Coaching

The Block Diagram is probably most popularized by the Toyota Kata community, to conduct PDCA scientific experiments to understand and improve a process.

Process Analysis

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

Layout Diagram
Flowchart template
Functional Flowchart

instead of the Block Diagram

Layout Diagram

To show your floor plan layout,
(perhaps also showing work flow travel paths),
use your spaghetti diagram template

Flow Chart

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 Tools for Continuous Improvement



and they are priced low enough to empower every team member
to improve every process in your organization


Your purchase price is usually justified with the 1 or 2 templates that you use most

The others are a really nice
"gift with purchase"

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Your Systems2win templates come with free New User Training to quickly learn features that are common to all 150+ templates



Why re-invent?

Why re-invent?




One huge benefit of owning your Systems2win templates is Support when you need it













to enable and encourage
every leader

to habitually coach
every manager

to habitually coach
every team and person

to habitually improve
strategically aligned
processes and results

Welcome to Systems2win

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