Spaghetti diagram

Spaghetti diagram
See also

Spaghetti diagram (Spaghetti chart, Spaghetti plot or Spaghetti model) is a visual method of presenting the movement of product, service, people or information in the work process. The graphics line system shows the way that objects move at a work station, in a manufacturing site or in a company building[1]. The name „spaghetti” is used due to the fact that the diagram shows a lot of resemblance to noodles.

Conditions for applying the method

The method is used in lean management to optimize the work or theproduction process. The application of the tool works best when employees devote too much time to moving between work stations or transferring raw materials between the following stages of the production process. The Spaghetti diagram helps recognize inefficiencies in the organization, e.g. the printer is too far from the employee and as a result, his work efficiency is reduced by the waste of time. In addition, the model presents the information flow, as well as indicates dependencies and responsibilities between individual objects in the process. The introduction of this tool can analyze the situation and improve the current conditions[2].

Ways of preparation the diagram

The development of the Spaghetti diagram is possible with the help of two different methods:

  • Method A,
  • Method B.

Choosing a procedure depends on the kind of movement and the complexity of the process.

Method A

When thinking about implementing this method, it would be better if the process was complex, because in this conditions the method is the most successful. The second relevant factor is the multitude of positions and the resulting awareness of the diversity of simultaneous flows, e.g. employees, raw materials, documents. The realisation of this method consists of a few steps. First of all, it is important to define a project team, usually consisting of 3-4 people. The next step is preparing a place, a scheme of the analyzed space and office supplies (coloured markers, balls and notes, flip chart paper, sticky tape etc.). In this case, for proper preparation of the Spaghetti diagram influences the participation of the people involved in the project. Supplementing the diagram is built on sticking coloured tapes after each stage of the process[3].

Method B

This method is used in the study of a simpler process, e.g. it concerns one production line. Usually, only one kind of process at a time is considered for observation, e.g. employee movement. The work on the model begins with the preparation of the plan of the observed place with all its equipment. Each cycle of moving the object is marked with a different colour, which helps examine the entire process. The determined path in the model gives the possibility to calculate its length, and then to analyze the efficiency and optimization[4].


  1. Senderská K., Mareš A., Václav Š. (2017), Spaghetti diagram application for workers' movement analysis, UPB Scientific Bulletin, vol. 79
  2. Sproull B. (2012), The Ultimate Improvement Cycle: Maximizing Profits through the Integration of Lean, Six Sigma, and the Theory of Constraints, Productivity Press, 2012, p. 60-61
  3. Ross G., Jeffrey B. (2009), Tools for Success, p. 27-32
  4. Ross G., Jeffrey B. (2009), Tools for Success, p. 27-32


Author: Patryk Schmidt