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. The objective is to maintain the output of a specific process within a desired range.
But, what is a Process? A process is a serie of steps and decisions involved in the way work is completed. Placing an order, developing a budget or refueling an aircraft are examples of processes.
Processes are needed to provide a clear direction for certain tasks and when a task needs to be accomplished within a pertinent scope or method to yield a certain result. Also, they are typically needed when the task is something that is repeated and therefore should be done consistently and systematically.
Standardizing processes are important not to have possibility for misinterpretation. Use samples, guides and templates when necessary.
And who develops processes? Processes are often developed by the System Engineering Process Group (SEPG). The SEPG is responsible for several tasks, such as the establishment, development, control and disposal of processes.
How is Process Control seen by NASA? Process Control is an essential element of managing risk to ensure the safety and reliability of the Space Shuttle Program. It is recognized that strict process control practices will aid in the prevention of process escapes that may result in incidents and nonconformances.
NASA's Process Control Focus Group (PCFG) develops free products for the suppliers of the Space Shuttle Program. These products stress the importance of process control. If control is not rightly applied, there is a risk of failure.
There are several standards that were developed to exert process control. Go to the Details of NASA Standards & Practices Handbook section and learn more about them, including examples of the tools and techniques of each standard.