This paper deals with the simultaneous statistical process control of several Poisson variables. The practitioner of this type of monitoring may employ a multiple scheme, i.e. one chart for controlling each variable, or may use a multivariate scheme, based on monitoring all the variables with a single control chart. If the user employs the multivariate schemes, he or she can choose from, for example, three options: (i) a control chart based on the sum of the different Poisson variables; (ii) a control chart on the maximum value of the different Poisson variables; and (iii) in the case of only two variables, a chart that monitors the difference between them. In this paper, the previous control charts are studied when applied to the control of p = 2, 3 and 4 variables. In addition, the optimization of a set of univariate Poisson control charts (multiple scheme) is studied. The main purpose of this paper is to help the practitioner to select the most adequate scheme for her/his production process. Towards this goal, a friendly Windows© computer program has been developed. The program returns the best control limits for each control chart and makes a complete comparison of performance among all the previous schemes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.