Skill level: Advanced
A control plan is a written summary that describes what is needed to keep an improved process at its current level. This includes human resources and training requirements, actions that should be taken if measures are outside the specified range, and reactions needed to ensure process owners sustain the gains of process improvements.
The purpose of the control plan is to ensure that performance improvements made by the project team are sustained over time. The plan is created during the improve phase of the define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) approach or a similar phase of other methodologies.
The project team should create the control plan along with the process owner and representation from all areas involved in the process. As the process changes or process knowledge increases and as measurement systems and implementation methods are evaluated and improved, the plan should be updated.
- Provides a summary of process knowledge
- Keeps process requirements and expectations visible for all functional area involved
- Describes data used to assess process performance (process and/or quality indicators)
- Describes when action needs to occur, how frequently to check performance, who is responsible for checks, and what the contingency plans are
- Describes who is involved and what their roles are in the process
How to Use
- Step 1. Briefly describe the process being performed.
- Step 2. Indicate the immediate benefactor of the process.
- Step 3. List the department and/or persons who either initiate or perform the process steps.
- Step 4. Show the process steps performed.
- Step 5. For the major steps of the process, determine the critical success factors and measures (e.g., time required to execute each step).
- Step 6. Indicate the negotiated needs and expectations with relevant quality indicators.
- Step 7. Develop control charts for selected control points and indicate control limits or any other metric to track performance over time (if control charts are not applicable).
- Step 8. List items that need to be checked, frequency, responsible person, and contingency plans when process necessitates.
- Step 9. List dates of changes and what changes were made.
- Step 10. List any other pertinent information needed.
The example below pertains to a simple pizza delivery process. The customer calls in the order, the cashier takes the order, the chef prepares the pizza, and the delivery staff delivers a hot pizza to the customer.
As simple as this process is, the management team understands that controls need to be in place to ensure that even in peak periods each and every customer receives hot pizza.