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The Good Old Tally Chart

Time and time again the tally chart comes to my rescue. From talking to managers about problems with their processes to the operators struggling with their processes the tally chart can often help.

Tally charts are a great way to observe and analyse what is happening to a process. It is simple to use and can give fast results. The simplicity however may be the problem. It isn't flash, it isn't new and it isn't sexy. The tally chart is basic and easy to learn.

Should this stop you and your team from using it? Absolutely not. Also, you don’t have to use it all the time. Find a problem, identify some repeating issues and then use the tally chart to record the number of incidents for each issue. A quick sort by volume and you have a prioritised list for investigation and improvement.

If you have issues with your business processes then don’t forget the tally chart. It can come in handy.


Giles Johnston
Author, Consultant and Chartered Engineer