Spaghetti diagrams are really useful for tracking movement and transport within your organization – but when it comes to producing the diagrams there are so many ways of doing it – from the basic pen and paper to software applications like Microsoft Visio – however most business PC users have a copy of Microsoft Office installed so we’ll take a look at how you can create Spaghetti Diagrams using Microsoft Excel.
Remember that spaghetti diagrams can be used to track the movement of any part of your organization from staff to material!
1 Turn on Drawing Toolbar
The benefit to using Excel is that it comes ready built with on board drawing tools! To turn these on go to the View > Toolbars menu and select Drawing – you’ll see a new toolbox appear featuring a number of drawing buttons.
2 Draw your organizational layout
Firstly draw your organizational layout – Use boxes to represent key aspects of your layout such as offices or production lines. Add title text and names to your boxes. Remember that you can swivel the text in the box to align the name to the shape you’ve selected.
3 Add your movement lines
Add arrows to the layout to represent the movement of your intended target – track what they do in the “real world” and then use the arrows to represent it – Arrows in excel are fixed lines so you need to “Edit Points” to “bend” the arrow to reflect the movement made.
4 Add color!
Remember that with Excel you can format your objects and change the colors! – Excellent – you can use different colors to map out personnel and materials
With a little practice you can produce some really good results – remember that the key to spaghetti diagrams is effectively recording the movements – when you gather the data make sure that track for a reasonable time and that you choose a time that is representative of a normal work pattern this will give you a good assessment of movement and help you reduce bottlenecks and wasted activity.