Spaghetti chart

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Spaghetti Chart example, simple.png

A simple example of a spaghetti chart

A spaghetti chart is a graphical aid used in lean manufacturing activities. It is used to detail the actual physical flow and distances involved in a work process. Processes that have not been streamlined frequently are poorly laid out with work/product taking a path through the work area that looks like a mass of cooked spaghetti. A spaghetti chart often traces the walking patterns of workers in a process, ranging from manufacturing settings to healthcare. It mostly serves as an illustration of a system's inefficiency.[1]

To create a spaghetti chart you first create a scale map of a work station or work process. The next step is to draw a line from the initial point of work to the next step, then the third step, and so on until the work/product exits the work area. Examination of this resulting chart will show where improvements are to be made.

Using the information provided by the process chart is to be used to physically relocate work steps so that work/product does not backtrack at any point and proceeds in a linear fashion. A common end layout resulting from using a spaghetti chart is a "U" - shaped workstation where material enters on one end and exits in parallel fashion with all work steps completed.

This chart can be made in 4 different detail levels. Which route the product takes, where the operator walks, where the hands of the operator are needed and where the eyes of the operator are watching. Every single detail level can be analyzed.

Spaghetti charts can be used to improve the quality of processes in various fields. For instance, it often occurs in healthcare.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LSS tools - The spaghetti diagram". American society of quality. 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Using lean techniques to define the platelet (PLT) transfusion process and cost-effectiveness to evaluate PLT dose transfusion strategies". William Riley, Benjamin Smalley, Shelley Pulkrabek, Mary E. Clay, Jeffrey McCullough. 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Lean Sigma - Will it work for healthcare, in: Journal of Healthcare Information Management — Vol. 19, No. 1". James A. Bahensky, MS, Janet Roe, and Romy Bolton. 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2012.