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Run Chart: Analysis, Components, How to Create One?

19th Jan, 2024
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    Run Chart: Analysis, Components, How to Create One?

    While running any business, it is essential to carefully analyze various trends and patterns. This helps to identify the source of the problem and then come up with a possible solution. The best way to note these changes in a repetitive cycle is with the help of a run chart. This article will discuss how to create run charts, their components, significance, and the six sigma rules below. 

    What is Run Chart in Six Sigma?

    run chart is a line graph that shows data over time. In other words, a run chart graphically represents how a process is performed or how the data values changed over time. Instead of only using summary statistics, looking at data over time allows for a more accurate conclusion. The run chart is a potent, straightforward, and user-friendly operational optimizer. Unfortunately, the evaluation measures performed with run charts are frequently disregarded, which undervalues them. Continue reading to learn the advantages of a run chart and how to make and analyze one properly. 

    If you are willing to grow and prosper your business using the run chart's logic and analytics, Six Sigma training online is one of the most suitable ways.  

    Why to Use a Run Chart? 

    One of its most important advantages is the ability to aid in the early diagnosis of new processes. A run chart shows whether a process performs better or worse over time. And all of this occurs without the need for tricky mathematical formulas. 

    Here are a few justifications for using a run chart: 

    • If you make any alterations or implement any upgrades, a run chart can display the outcomes of these upgrades. 
    • Run charts give a temporal rather than a static perspective of a process when looking at the data across time. 
    • Run charts to provide direction as you carry out improvement projects. They might draw attention to any potential value increases brought on by improvements. 
    • Run charts make it easier to determine whether modifications result in genuine gains. They achieve this by presenting the gathered data in a structure you can see as you implement adjustments. 
    • Run charts inside the DMAIC. The last phase lets you assess if you are retaining benefits from improvement initiatives. 

    When to use run charts?

    It takes time to improve a procedure or an organization. Therefore, you must be sure that advancements are being made to gauge the adjustments' success. As a result, you must track the output data of a procedure over time. 

    These are the key areas where you should use run charts: 

    • To demonstrate the operation of the process in graphic form. 
    • Monitor and report achievements efficiently. 
    • To recognize the variation in the process and prevent acting inimically. 

    How to Create a Run Chart?

    A time series depiction called a run chart shows changes and patterns in data over a period. This graph typically includes a median line and can offer discrete data. Creating a run chart is a simple process. It does seem complicated at first, but if you follow these seven steps, it is a piece of cake. 

    1. Select the analysis's unit of measurement 
    2. Have at least ten datasets when gathering the information. 
    3. A graph with two perpendicular straight (vertical and horizontal) axes should be drawn. 
    4. Set the scale of the variable evaluated on the vertical axis or the y-axis. 
    5. Draw the time or succession scale on the horizontal or x-axis. 
    6. Draw a horizontal line perpendicular to the y-axis at the mean or median value, depending on which the data set suggests is suitable, and let it span the graph. 
    7. Plot the information in chronological order as they were received. 

    You are in the ideal spot if you wish to create process improvements, save expenses, and raise performance throughout the company. You will effectively direct the process improvement teams through the Six Sigma Green Belt course that provides multiple run chart examples to help you understand the concept.  

    Here is a sample run chart in excel template to download for free. 

    Key Components of Run Chart  

    Several components make up a run control chart. A chart may include anywhere between 5 and 7 members, based on the level of visualization and analysis—however, combined aid in painting a more precise understanding than when the data is presented independently. A run chart has the following components. 

    The title gives a concise summary of the data shown on the chart. 

    1. Vertical Axis (Y-Axis) 

    This axis is a spectrum that highlights the importance of the qualities that the data gathered reflects. 

    2. Horizontal (X-Axis)

    This displays the chronological order in which the data were gathered. The evolution of the occurrences being measured will be shown on this axis. 

    3. Data Points

    Each point denotes a specific measure. 

    4. Legend

    Each line's meaning is explained in the legend. There should also be other details that support the data collection. 

    5. The median value

    It also known as the centerline, indicates important trends to look at rather than just chance changes in a process when it exhibits a significant number of consecutively above or below values. 

    6. Data Table

    This table contains a list of the information displayed in the graph. 

    How to Interpret a Run Chart?

    Look after runs first. Based on the data, the mean or median might be utilized. Use the mean if the data are symmetric. Else, the median is preferable. If the previous and following points are contrary to the mean or median line, a run can be only one point. Points that are precisely on the line are ignored. There is non-random variance in the procedure if there are more significant or lower runs than anticipated. 

    Then, search for shifts. Nine points above or beneath the center line in a row constitute a shift. This is a sign that the operation is subject to specific cause fluctuation. Find patterns after changes. Trends include six or more regularly rising or falling points that show a unique cause change in the process. Then look for alternate points. The next step is to look for outliers, which are results noticeably different from the norm and may indicate a unique deviation in operation. In conjunction with these formal tests, it's crucial to check to see if the most recent data differs from previous data. 

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    Run Chart Interpretation Rules 

    The run chart rules selection guidelines are as follows to prevent erroneous analysis and start the appropriate activities for improvement: 

    1. Shift

    A shift occurs when seven or eight values follow one another above or below the median line. The points on the median line should not be considered because they are neither for nor against the move. Shift denotes a significant shift in the course of events. 

    2. Clustering

    A low number of runs or groupings of spots in one or more plot sections is called clustering. It suggests issues with sampling or measurement. 

    3. Mixtures

    A chart with an excessive number of runs and no spots around the median line 

    4. Astronomical Point

    An astronomical point is a location on a chart where one data value stands out significantly from all the others. It could be a very low likelihood of recurrence, and it would stand out as unusual. 

    Pitfalls to Avoid

    Run charts are sometimes interpreted correctly: concluding that a pattern or cycle exists when, in reality, what is being observed is typical process variation. When people alter a regularly operating process, they are typically less conscious that they're making the first sort of mistake. Use the following rules for good run chart analysis to prevent errors: 

    Analyze data that spans a sufficient time to experience a typical fluctuation range. Construct a best-fit trend line from the start to finish of the statistics to ensure a run chart quality improvement. The procedure may be considered stationary during this period if the line is horizontal. If not, the procedure is regarded as unsteady or nonstationary. It takes a considerable amount of data to draw this conclusion. 

    Difference Between Run Chart and Control Chart 

    Control charts are employed to keep track of the application's stability. In other words, see the results falling inside the control boundaries while measuring any output variation over time. Both the top and lower limits are specified on the control chart. Results inside the control limits indicate that the procedure is stable; otherwise, they point to a lack of stability. 

    Run charts resemble control charts, but their main distinction is that they may show changes and trends rather than process stability. The run chart tool cannot identify out-of-control circumstances because it lacks control limitations. However, it will illustrate in graphic form how the procedure is progressing. You may convert a run graph into a control flowchart by including higher and lower control limits. A pattern or trend suggests a unique cause variance in the procedure exists. 

    Final Thoughts

    Businesses need specialists who can utilize their problem-solving abilities and business acumen to enhance internal processes as they strive for continual development. You should participate in a credible KnowledgeHut's Six Sigma training online to improve your organization's quality quickly through run chart interpretation and similar methodologies. You can check out our website for more details and enroll. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is a run chart used for?

    A run chart is generally used to collect relevant and necessary data over time to interpret the trends or the changes in the cycles. 

    2What is an example of a run chart?

    For example, the run chart tool for a hospital can talk about delays in the discharges of patients at different times of the day.  

    3What is a run in a run chart?

    Run stands for data points consecutively noted on one side of the mean line. 


    Shivender Sharma

    Blog Author

    Shivendra Sharma, an accomplished author of the international bestseller 'Being Yogi,' is a multifaceted professional. With an MBA in HR and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he boasts 15 years of experience in business and digital transformation, strategy consulting, and process improvement. As a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), he has led multi-million dollar savings through organization-wide transformation projects. Shivendra's expertise lies in deploying Lean and Six Sigma tools across global stakeholders in EMEA, North America, and APAC, achieving remarkable business results. 

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