Run Chart

Posted on February 16, 2009 by

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The tool of Run Charts are a way to graphically illustrate a set of data. The passing of time is usually graphed on the x-axis. Time could be measured in any increment—seconds, days, months, decades, etc. The measure of interest is graphed on the y-axis. Run Charts are especially useful for showing any trends over time in the data. For example, is there a trend that the data is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same? A formal examination of these trends using specific rules is called Trend Analysis. Run Charts are also useful for drawing attention to extreme data points called outliers. The fourth edition PMBOK® lists the run chart as a tool and technique of the Perform Quality Control process. When measuring the performance of a process for quality control purposes, one may be hoping to observe as little variation as possible, which would appear as a fairly flat line. When graphing the number of defects over time, if measures are implemented to decrease the rate of defects, one may be expecting a downward trend. Below is an example of a Run Chart illustrating how many cookies Katy ate per day over three weeks.

Run Chart

Run Chart