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On Demand: Using Run and Control Charts to Understand Variation​

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a fundamental concept for quality improvement experts. Rather than relying on confusing data tables, it is best to make a picture of the data and let the picture do the talking. Plotting data over time offers insights and maximizes the learning from any data collected by revealing patterns and improvement opportunities.

IHI is please to offer Using Run and Control Charts to Understand Variation, an On Demand presentation featuring IHI’s Executive Director of Performance Improvement, Robert Lloyd, PhD.

Dr. Lloyd’s presentation will review two fundamental tools for understanding variation — the run chart and Shewhart control charts. Dr. Lloyd begins his presentation with a general overview of the role statistical analysis plays in performance improvement. He then provides a brief historical review of how statistical process control (SPC) methods evolved from the original work of Dr. Walter Shewhart in the 1920s, leading next to a discussion of the run chart. 

Dr. Lloyd provides answers to three key questions surrounding the construction and use of Shewhart charts:
  •  How many data points do I need to make a chart?
  •  What is a sigma limit?
  •  How do we classify variation?
  •  How do I use the zones on a Shewhart chart?
In the final segment of this presentation, Dr. Lloyd reviews the control chart decision tree and provides guidance in how to select the appropriate Shewhart chart for different types of data.

Dr. Lloyd is featured on three of IHI’s On Demand Presentations. Each of these presentations addresses a distinct topic and can be viewed as a series in the following order: 
  1. On Demand: An Introduction to the Model for Improvement
    Provides a framework for organizing and guiding a team’s improvement journey
  2. On Demand: Building Skills in Data Collection and Understanding Variation
    Designed to help teams successfully manage the milestones along the quality measurement journey
  3. On Demand: Using Run and Control Charts to Understand Variation
    Addresses the application of statistical process control (SPC) methods, with specific attention given to run and control charts