Spaghetti Diagrams

Spaghetti Diagrams are an extremely effective tool for identifying distance covered during the carrying out of a process or task. They are also an excellent activity for gaining buy-in on the shop floor. Often sceptical people can be easily won over when they actually realise how far a process forces them to walk, often wasteful and needless activities that have become part of the process, but should never have become so.


In order to carry out a good spaghetti diagram it is simply a case of having an up-to-date floor plan of the process and the adjacent areas and just following the operative and tracking his/her movements as the process or work sequence is carried out. Record the value added work as you walk and trace their steps and motion as they carry out the process.


Capturing where and why they depart the process area is an important factor. When the reasons for leaving the process area are fully understood, the activity can be coupled with good workplace organisation and steps can be made to eliminate this as waste, making the process both more efficient and less demanding on the operator.

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