IAF Methods

Run chart

by for . Last edit was about 2 years ago
10 - 180 6 - 25

A visual tool to graphically display shifts, trends, cycles or other patterns over time.

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Additional info


The intent of this process is to identify problems, e.g. unwanted changes, or to monitor progress when solutions are carried out.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • Computer, or whiteboard or large paper and markers to create the chart



Time needed: The optimal amount of time needed depends on the problem issued and the extent to which it is discussed.

Pre-Work Required: Research and collect data that will be plotted on the chart.


In order to create a run chart, the facilitator needs to collect at least 25 data points (number, time, cost) to begin with. It has to be recorded when the measurement was taken, and then needs to be arranged in a chronological order.

Next, determine a scale for the vertical axis as 1.5 times the range. The axis has to be labeled with the scale and unit of measurement. The third step is to draw the horizontal axis and then mark the measure of time being any unit (minute, hour, day, shift, week, month, year, etc.).

Finally, plot the points and then connect them with a straight line between each point.

Draw a center line, being the average of all the data points.

Interpret the run chart:  Following are some guidelines for interpreting a run chart: Eight consecutive points above (or below) the center line (mean or median) suggest a shift in the process whereas six successive increasing (or decreasing) points suggest a trend. Fourteen successive points alternating up and down suggest a cyclical process.


Follow-Up Required: There is no follow-up required.

Usual or Expected Outcomes: The outcome should be a run chart that helps to detect unwanted changes.

Potential pitfalls: A potential pitfall is the use of too many notations on the chart, and of course the misinterpretation of data.

How success is evaluated: The process is successful when a chart has been created that displays causes of variations of a process.


Source: http://www.qaproject.org/methods/resstattools2.html#run&controlcharts

Recognizable components: The essential step for this method is the research of data.

References: The essential step for this method is the research of data.

Alternative names: Run and Control Chart

Comments (1) ( 3.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • A useful visual tool. It would be helpful to learn about run charts before using this method, as the procedures are very high level.

    about 3 years ago