what do you mean by "charting has everything to do with it"? what is 'it'? why do you ask a question about the value of charting for short runs and then respond that "charting has everything to do with it"?

I'm sorry but I'm finding your question a bit cryptic...

However: my experience shows that the most powerful statistical or analytical tool we have is to plot our data in time series. simple statistics like average, standard deviations, p values and Cpk indices simply aren't very informative. patterns (trends, shifts, shape, cycles, etc) can't be seen with these numbers.

On the other hand, if you are only calculating a Cpk value because of some requirement that nobody will do anthing with beyond docuemtning that you did it and you aren't interested in understanding the process, plotting the data is a waste of time.

Can you exist without charting - of course man has existed for thousands of years without charting. But existing isn't really living, now is it?