Define process control? Everyone knows what process control is, right?
Let’s collect some data. A quick spin around the internet reveals the following:
- Wikipedia: Process control is a statistics and engineering discipline that deals with architectures, mechanisms and algorithms for maintaining the output of a specific process within a desired range. See also control theory.
- Business Dictionary: Activities involved in ensuring a process is predictable, stable, and consistently operating at the target level of performance with only normal variation.
- PC Magazine: The automated control of a process.
- NASA: Process Control consists of the systems and tools used to ensure that processes are well defined, performed correctly, and maintained so that the completed product conforms to established requirements.
Phoenix Systems, LLC, a subsidiary of The Phoenix Group, has provided our clients this working definition of process control: the systematic and continuous reduction of variation.
- Systematic: A defined and disciplined approach
- Continuous: Executed inexorably
- Variation reduction: Squeezing the range of variable settings and inputs utilized.
We’ve successfully applied our definition of process control to an extremely wide range of activities including manufacturing, teams, problem solving, business processes, sport, and health and fitness. Even The Phoenix Group logo graphically depicts a run chart with variation being reduced.
Advancements in devices will continue to increase your capacity to reduce variation. Wireless technology, equipment connectivity, computer controls, and a myriad of electronic measurement devices contribute to you learning more about everything from your manufacturing process to your golf swing.