What is a Control Plan?

May 17, 2020

The Control Plan is a living document that has evolved over time without changing format. The document has gone from detecting failures in the process or product to preventing any failure from happening.

Organizational benefits from using Control Plans include:

  • Quality Product Output
  • Controlled Processes
  • Elimination of waste, scrap, rework, duplication of efforts
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Provides clear instruction for Operators
  • Process Standardization
  • Manufacturing Efficiency / Capable Processes


The Control Plan is a document that describes the actions needed to ensure the output of the process meets all requirements, including inspections, parameters, measurement, equipment to perform measurements, sample size, frequencies, records, and more. The Control Plan is a map full of directions so the Operator can meet each process requirement at different stages, however, does not replace the Operator’s instructions. Consequently, the document helps preserve the quality of product output despite any staff turnover.

Building a Control Plan with a Cross-Functional Team:

For the Control Plan to be an effective method, it must be developed by a Cross Functional Team who uses different sources of information to build the document, including Flow Diagram, DFMEA & PFMEA, Lessons Learned, Special / Critical Characteristics Matrix, and more. The Control Plan is also part of the requirements for APQP & PPAP.

Control Plans developed by a Cross Functional Team determine the proper level of the Control Plan based on the stage of product development:

  • Prototype: The product is in the early phase of development.
  • Pre-Launch: The prototype phase of the product is completed but no mass production yet.
  • Production: The product has been launched to full production

By focusing on what is critical to quality, you will reduce scrap, rework and prevent defective product from reaching the customer.

For more information on Control Plans browse our training programs. Plexus International designs, develops, and delivers internationally accredited, industry-recognized training programs for the global manufacturing supply chain with one critical goal: real performance improvement.