Control Plan

“Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today” – African Proverb

In India, for thousands of years, when a child is born, there is a tradition of preparing horoscope (Janampatri). It not only tells information (Karmas) about their past but also about this birth too. In present times, we have Social Security Number or Aadhar Card (in India) which gives complete information about a person. Control Plan serves the same purpose for any Product or Service in the organization.

As per IATF 16949 Clause 3.0, Control plan is a documented description of the systems and processes required for controlling the manufacturing of the product.

Control Plan is the backbone for the Manufacturing process. It is considered to be a LIVE document. There are more than 20 clauses of the Standard wherein it is referenced.

Product Safety
Plant, Facility & Equipment Planning
Measurement System Analysis
Internal Auditor Competency 7.2.3
2nd Party Auditor competency 7.2.4
Engineering Specifications
Design and Development Planning
Special Characteristics
Prototype Program
Manufacturing Process Design Output
Temporary Change of Process Control
Release of Products & Services 8.6.1
Layout Inspection 8.6.2
Control of Reworked Product
Control of Repair Product
Monitoring &Measurement of Manufacturing Process
Statistical Tools
Manufacturing Process Audit
Problem Solving 10.2.3
Error Proofing 10.2.4

Some of the IATF subscribing OEM have their specific requirements related to Control Plan, which hare stated below

FCA, USA For characteristics identified on the Control Plan as Critical (, the organization shall conduct a monthly dimensional study in accordance with QR-10012 and SPB-00001-09.
FCA, Italy 9.01102 07171 SQ.00010
Volkswagen The Product Audit must be defined in the Product Control plan. Product Audit shall take place at least every 12 months for each product manufactured as a Series Production part. Refer Formel-Q-Capability

Although APQP manual (2nd Edition) has specified a template for Control Plan but the organization can decide its own template (or as per customer specific requirement) but ensuring that all the contents as specified in IATF 16949 Standard (Annexure A Page 54) are specified.

Work instruction is an extension of the Control Plan and can-not replace it as its objective to specify the requirements of the Control Plan in more detail.

As per IATF 16949 Standard, clause, the following are the key expectations.

  • Type of Control Plan: Prototype, Prelaunch & Production

Prototype: Generally prepared when few samples are prepared for checking basic fitment, function etc. Sampling Inspection is 100%.

Prelaunch: Prepared for trial production (8 hours or 300 pieces or as applicable) to check the effectiveness of the process and product output. The sample size & Frequency is high.

Production: Prepared for Mass production. Sample size and frequency is per criticality of the process and customer requirement

  • Family Control Plan: For bulk material production (Steel, Tyres etc.) and parts having similar manufacturing processes (Moulding, Surface Treatment etc.), the family Control Plan can be prepared as process and product characteristics remain the same irrespective of the part number.
  • Review Frequency: The control plan has to be reviewed based on the following requirements.
  • An organization can decide frequency based on Risk analysis
  • Shipment of non-conforming material to customer
  • Customer complaint
  • Any changes affecting Product, Manufacturing Process, Measurement, Logistics, Supply sources, Production volume changes, or risk analysis (FMEA)

Inputs to Control Plan


Process Flow Chart

DFMEA, PFMEA, Special Characteristics

Customer Requirements (CR), Customer Specific Requirements (CSR)

Statutory & Regulatory Requirements

Lesson learned from similar parts

CFT knowledge of the process

Design Review

Output of Control Plan

Work Instruction

Operator Guidance Sheet

Process Sheet

Job Setup Instruction

Operator Qualification requirement

Daily Inspection Plan

Benefits of Control Plan

Ensures Quality of product

Reduces variation & waste in the process and product

Enhances Customer Satisfaction

Clear Communication with process owner & customer

Some question to ponder:

  • Control Plan is considered to be a LIVE document but is it really? But in many organizations, Control Plan is not reviewed even after 5 years!!
  • In your organization, who gives input for preparing the Control Plan? Quality Engineer or Cross Function Team (CFT)?
  • How often we check the accuracy and linkage between Drawing, Customer Requirements, Customer Specific Requirements, DFMEA, Process Flow Chart, PFMEA and Work Instruction?
  • What should be the sequence of document preparation? ‘PFMEA, CP, WI’ or ‘PFMEA, WI, CP’ or ‘CP, PFMEA, WI’ or ‘CP, WI, PFMEA’?
  • How often names of the CFT is updated when we make changes in Control Plan?
  • Why so often there is NO linkage between PFMEA, Control Plan and Work Instruction?


IATF 16949: 2016



This is the 40th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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Hemant Agrawal
Hemant Agrawal
4 years ago

I always wait for you to come up with a new article and as soon as a new article comes up, I spare time to go through it enhance my understanding regarding that topic.
This latest topic on control plan is well elaborated and valuable.
Keep continue the work. Also by adding a video for telling overview of the topic has made it more interesting.
If you remember, I had requested you to add video also when you published your first article.
Hemant Agrawal

Shankar Shivaratri
Shankar Shivaratri
4 years ago

Good one.

Parmod Kumar Arora
Parmod Kumar Arora
4 years ago

Perfect and precise explanation

4 years ago


Very nicely written.Made me to understand in depth

HS Anand
4 years ago

Well Written