Pareto charts are one of the basic pillars of the six sigma methodology and are typically used to depict the frequency of occurrence of issues that affect ‘production’. Although one usually sees them being used as standalones, the humble pareto chart can very well be augmented in order to make it a much more meaningful tool for tracking and resolving pending issues & errors. Let’s look at one such approach that utilizes a combination of a horizontal pareto chart and a chart table.
Tabulating the Data
Let’s first tabulate the data for the chart. The issues get listed in descending order of occurrence along with the frequency of occurrence and their cumulative totals.
Adding Cause and Resolution
Once we have listed down the issues, we add the cause of the issues and the resolutions to the chart table. The rightmost column is used to indicate the current state of the resolution – whether the issue has been resolved or not. We can use data validation to prepare a drop-down of the various types of issues. In this case, I’ve used the ‘P’ attributes – People, Process, Policies, Procedure, Price, Promotion, Place and Product – which are more commonly used in the services industry.
Building a horizontal pareto chart
The second step is to make a horizontal pareto chart so that the bars are aligned along the rows. Since the event descriptions and other details are listed rowwise, a horizontal pareto chart gives a better perspective than a vertical one. Building a horizontal pareto chart can be a bit tricky. Here are the steps:
Putting it all together
Adjust the pareto chart, remove unwanted chart elements, format the table and we are all set to tackle those nagging issues with style !
You can download a sample worksheet with the pareto chart table here or click on the button below: