In this article, learn why turtle diagrams are important and how they can be used to improve your system.
Published 21 Dec 2022
A turtle diagram is a graphical representation of a set of process requirements, inputs, and outputs. It is so named because it resembles a turtle shell, with each element in the system represented by a different section of the shell.
Turtle diagrams are commonly used in business process improvement projects to map out the current state of a process and identify opportunities for improvement. They can also be used to map out the future state of a process after enhancements have been made. They are a valuable tool for any organization that wants to grow and improve its business processes.
A turtle diagram is a powerful tool that can be used to improve your understanding of a complex system. Turtle diagrams are often used in engineering and science to help simplify and visualize complex data. They can also be used in business and management to help understand and analyze complex problems.
This diagram is used to identify potential areas of improvement in a system and track the progress of changes that have been made. While turtle diagrams can be helpful in a variety of different situations, they are particularly useful for businesses that rely on complex processes. By using a turtle diagram, businesses can gain a better understanding of their processes and identify areas where improvements can be made.
There are many benefits to using turtle diagrams. They can be used to:
If you’re new to turtle diagrams, don’t worry—they’re actually quite simple to use. Here’s a quick rundown of how to use a turtle diagram.
The turtle diagram has 6 areas:
To make it easy, you can use a method similar to the Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer (SIPOC) framework for reference. Let’s explain each area to better understand how to use it in this section.
The process is located in the center of the diagram. It is the primary activity that transforms the inputs into outputs. This box addresses the important steps and sequences inside the scope of the project. This usually includes employees and multiple departments inside your organization.
This is the area where you put details of the actual process input. You must identify and list all requirements the process needs in order to complete its transformation. This could be workers, tools, space, information, etc.
Procedures and methods are listed under support processes because they are generally what is used to help the primary process take place. This addresses the question of how the organization does things.
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These refer to the processes or activities that are required to support the primary process. Support processes are not value-adding but are nonetheless necessary for the success of the primary process. These are listed to the left of the process box and generally address the question of what the organization needs.
This addresses the people or crew that will be completing the project. What skills or training do they need in order to complete the project?
Outputs are the results of the primary process. They are listed to the right of the process box and generally address the question of what the organization produces or what the outcome of the project is.
This is the area where you detail the specific indicators that will be used to measure the performance of the process. This is important for process improvement.
The name “turtle” comes from the fact that the inputs, outputs, and requirements are represented by a series of boxes and connecting lines, similar to the shell of a turtle. The process acts as the entire body of the turtle, with the inputs and outputs as the turtle’s head and tail. The rest of the components stand for the legs of the diagram, similar to a turtle’s legs.
A turtle diagram is a tool that can be used by anyone who wants to visually organize information. Auditors, for example, can benefit from using this diagram when mapping out the procedures, measures, and documents involved in the process they’ll be auditing.
The turtle diagram is often used in business to help map out processes and find ways to improve them. Using a visual representation, it provides a clear overview of how specific processes work from start to finish. Additional notes can also be added to the diagram to give context to particular points.
ISO 9001 is a process-based quality management system (QMS), and the turtle diagram provides a high-level view of the organization’s key processes. Although the turtle diagram is not specifically required by the ISO 9001 standard, it can be a helpful tool for organizations to use in planning and documenting their QMS.
Turtle diagrams are an essential tool for quality professionals. They help visualize and track operational processes for a better understanding of how they work and how to effectively improve their quality. But creating turtle diagrams can be a time-consuming and tedious task, especially if you have to find the information you need from piles of printed documents.
With SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), you can quickly and easily map out the details of your work processes so that you can create accurate turtle diagrams. As the world’s leading operations platform, SafetyCulture makes it easy for users to:
Shella Marie Ang
Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.
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