Six Sigma Tools for continuous quality improvement


Run Chart Template

Excel trend chart template, and line chart template for trend analysis

What is a run chart?

aka line chart or trend chart

Run Chart template

Sample run chart example

Your Run Chart template (RunChart.xlsx)

is the right choice to
analyze data and trends over time.


Also consider using your other

Line Chart templates

Trend Chart Run Chart template variation: Control Chart Cycle Time Run Chart

Trend Chart template (Trends.xlsx)

to organize and analyze more complex data for trend analysis.

Control Chart template (ControlChart.xlsx)

to alert you when your process is drifting too close to your control boundaries.

Cycle Time Run Chart (ObservCycles.xlsx)

to observe process cycle times.

How to use your

Run Chart template

Find and open your template

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

Find and open your
Run Chart template


in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

If you don't yet own a license,
you can download your free trial now.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

Systems2win menu > Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Rename your new sheet.

Or... Insert Sheet

As an alternative to opening a stand-alone document (as instructed above),

you also have the option to Insert Sheet into any other Excel workbook.

(which also gives you the option to Link Data so that your chart instantly changes as your data changes)

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Now your team is ready to start using your

Excel Run Chart

Enter header data


The title that you enter in the top field will also appear as the title in the chart.

You can also optionally enter a second title near the top of the Print Area.

Run Chart template headers


In the field called 'What', enter the Y Axis Title

Notice that it appears as the Y Axis Title in your chart.

Unit of Measure

Notice that the value you enter here
also appears in other places.

Revised Date

The date that you enter here
also appears in the chart.

Do not change the date format.
It must remain in Text format.


The Author is the one person (or team) authorized to make changes to this document.

Enter Data into your

Run Chart template

Enter your primary data in the 'Data' and 'Chart Labels' columns (below the chart).



If you need to transpose between horizontal and vertical data,
you can use what you know about familiar Microsoft Excel

Familiar surroundings

Hide Rows

To make the chart look cleaner, hide unused rows.

For more Rows

1) Unprotect the sheet

2) Copy a similar blank row, using Insert Copied Cells

3) Reprotect the sheet

Optional User Data

Your Run Chart template allows you to easily include up to 3 User Data Series on your chart.


Run Chart template user data

To make the chart clean, hide unused columns.

The headers that you enter near the top of each user column will appear in the chart Legend.

If your user data series is a straight line, simply enter the number in the pink double-border cell near the top of the column, and notice that in the data cells for that column, the default formula simply uses that value.

If your user data series is not a straight line, then in the data cells for that column, simply delete the default formula (that refers to the default value in the pink cell at the top of each column), and enter your user-defined data in those cells.

Analyze Results in your

Line Chart template

Line Chart data

The obvious purpose of a line chart is to analyze the line chart data

and as explained above, in addition to the primary data series,
your Run Chart template can support up to 3 user-defined data series

format trendline

Trend Analysis

Right-click the Trend Line in the chart > Format trendline...

Your Trend Line can be Linear, Exponential, Logarithmic, Polynomial, Power, or Moving Average

And you can give your Trend Line a user-defined label that appears in the Legend

To get rid of the Trend Line, right-click > Delete

Median or Average

Use the dropdown list just to the left of the header cells to choose to chart either:

Run Chart template drowdown list
  1. Median = there are an equal number of values
    above or below the median
  2. Average = sum of all data
    divided by the number of data entries

High and Low

The highest and lowest values in the primary 'Data' series.

Does not consider optional user-defined data series.


The vertical bar on the right side of your line chart
provides a very visual way to show the range of variability in your data.

The bottom of the bar is the lowest data point, and the top is the highest.


How much does this process vary?

Above and below the Median or Average

Publish and Socialize your Results

Visual Controls



Publish your results
where stakeholders can easily see them.

The most common place
to publish your results is on your
Team Accountability Board, Lean Storyboard,
or other Visual Management Systems



Print Options

Option 1) Print as usual

Simply print as usual, using CTRL+P,
and everything else you know
about printing in familiar Microsoft Excel.

This will print both the chart and the data

unless you change the Print Area.

Print Areas

Option 2) Print sections

Use the special Systems2win Print buttons to print:

Print Area 1 - the Chart page

Print Area 2 - the primary Data

Print Area 3 - optional User Data

Copy Chart button

Option 3) Print just the chart

Use the the Copy Chart button

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu > Copy Chart

which will copy just the chart by itself to the clipboard,
where you can then paste it into any other document.


Trend Chart template

Even if you came looking for a simple run chart template,
you're probably going to end up liking this trend chart template even better

Trend Charts Excel template

Do you have a "real world" amount of historical data?

Not just 1 or 2 weeks of anecdotal data?

Your Trends.xlsx template
provides a clean system
to organize, archive, and analyze
large amounts of data,
with a really helpful system to organize and archive summarized history.

See the training video.

How do you want to
spend your time?

Analyzing trends?
Or creating Excel charts?

Your Systems2win Trend Charts template makes it really easy to simply
drag different types of trend charts
into and out of the Print Area.

These trend charts
correctly show zero and blank values
within the days for which you have data,
and correctly don't mess up the trend line with false zero values for tomorrow and the rest of the month.

These trend charts allow you to
easily chart ANY column of data
just by specifying the column letter.

Easily choose from a dropdown list to
chart the Median or the Average

When you choose a column of data, it actually populates 2 charts
of the same data:

  1. A classic Run Chart
  2. A bar chart that shows the Current Period data right alongside the averages for prior periods —
    so that you can analyze...


    (oh yeah... the reason for doing this in the first place...)

It even comes with side-by-side Pareto Charts

so that you can see your current period Pareto data
right alongside the Pareto data for any chosen prior period...

so that you can analyze...


The run chart template, trend chart template,
control chart template, and Cycle Time Run Chart

all come with many other useful Lean Six Sigma Tools


Cartoon - why re-invent?


Why re-invent?