Spaghetti plot is a professional tool used to analyze current process flow. It is aimed at creating a visualization of worker’s movement and the material flow within a process in order to present the current waste and problems.
Analysis can be done in a specified time period which may be shorter than the shift duration – often determined as 8h.
All marked movement of a worker needs to be analyzed in the next step to find any bottlenecks or tasks which were the main waste to lean healthcare e.g. excessive activities or transport, waiting and errors. The aim is to introduce updates and solutions that would eliminate or minimise the located problem and waist.
After carrying out analysis and proposing solutions it comes time to take action and implement created solutions in the process. This should be a smooth transition from analysis to action stage – implementation without waiting as this might generate new changes in the process. The longer it takes to implement proposed changes the greater the risk that they will not fit to current process that may suddenly change. A very important issue is the engagement of operative employees in creating changes and collecting comments about their “dream” workplace. Lean healthcare philosophy concentrates on person and its approach to work. Despite good analysis and rapid implementation of improvements, the project may not work out because employees wont adapt to new adjustments. Approach to such a technique should be strategic, taking into account actual needs and ideas of staff by allowing them to actively participate in the analysis and improvements. Joint decision concerning a process will result in partial responsibility that lays on employees for their work and greater efficiency of implemented changes.
It’s a quick and cheap method that allows to capture current problems of a process. Project success, that is, implementation of the proposed improvements will depend on engagement of personnel and collecting detailed information about the process.