On the previous page I displayed inputs and outputs from Phase 1 through Phase 3 to illustrate the over all flow through. On the next 5 pages each phase is addressed individually. It is always the case that the output from one phase is an input to the next except for Phase 5 which technically has no phase to input to. However, while the APQP manual does not list it, the data and such from ongoing production will be used if later you do an APQP project on a similar or family part.
The APQP and Control Plan manual discusses each input and output individually on pages 7 through 30. We earlier looked at Voice of the Customer as an example input to Phase 1. On page 7 of the APQP manual there is the following: “The “Voice of the Customer” encompasses complaints, recommendations, data and information obtained from internal and/or external customers. Some methods for gathering information appear in the following paragraphs.” It should be evident that this is guidance for compliance.
For the most part, the APQP and Control Plan manual will only be relevant as you set up your system. This is because most companies use project planning software and they make a template which addresses each of the required items. Once the system is defined and proven changes are typically rare.
Inputs / Outputs - Phase 1
Voice of the Customer
Historical Warranty and Quality Information
Business Plan and Marketing Strategy
Product/Process Benchmark Data
Product Reliability Studies
Reliability and Quality Goals
Preliminary Bill of Material
Preliminary Process Flow Chart
Preliminary Listing of Special Product and Process Characteristics