Learn the history and popular uses for dozens of diagrams, charts, and visuals.

Pyramid Chart

A Pyramid Chart has the form of a triangle with lines dividing it into sections. A related topic or idea is placed in each section. Because of the triangular shape, each section is a different width from the others; this width indicates a level of hierarchy among the topics. For example, the widest section may contain a general topic and the narrowest section may contain a much more specific topic from within that general topic. However, the width is not visually representative of the quantity beyond larger or smaller.

Pyramid Chart
Typical Uses

Pyramid Charts are put to the best use when items need to be arranged in a way that shows hierarchical structure, as well as quantity or size. This can include business management positions, products sold, business locations, etc. In any case, the topics must have a progressive order.

Best Practices
  • Determine a topic. Decide what topic the pyramid will be addressing and place the name at the top of the page.
  • Choose subcategories. Decide on subcategories for the overall topic that you chose. (i.e. - Management: Positions, Business Headquarters: Areas, Marketing and sales: Products or Methods of advertisement.) Be sure to limit the quantity of these subcategories so that your pyramid does not become too crowded or complicated.
  • Determine value and status. Organize the subcategories based upon their hierarchy. If it is numerical, choose a method of measurement for each of your categories. If the categories are job positions, find out how many people fill each position. If the categories are different product sales, decide how many products were sold or how much money was made. Whatever form you choose, make sure it is consistent.
  • Determine status. Make a list of your categories and then arrange them from most important to least important, smallest to largest, etc. depending on the hierarchy chosen for the diagram.
  • Create sections. Divide your pyramid into sections. Since each section will represent one category, make sure to arrange them in order, based on the status you chose before. A Pyramid Chart template produced by SmartDraw will make this task easier.
  • Label. Write each idea or topic in its corresponding section. If the section is too small, it may be better to draw a line to a blank space on the page and place the text at the end of it.
  • Verify accuracy. Consult with coworkers, employees, or team members to be certain that the information in your diagram is accurate.

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