Statistical process control, a methodology used for controlling and improving the outcomes of operational processes, has been in use for almost 100 years! It was widely used in many companies during World War II to regulate and improve the quality of products. This was especially true in companies supporting the war effort.
History shows, however, that the widespread use of this technique nearly ended in the 1960s because business in the US was so good after World War II that few companies felt the need to use special techniques to improve quality. At that time, the focus was almost completely on quantity. The US found itself in a position where whatever it produced was quickly sold.
Things changed in the 1970s as competition from outside the US began to export high quality goods at low prices to the US. High quality, low cost electronics and cars, as examples, were beginning to arrive from Japan. These took many US manufacturing companies by surprise. A "Total Quality Management" era had begun. Statistical Process Control and Process Improvement was re-vitalized.
It is a well known fact that many operational problems are caused by obsolete operational processes. As a result of international competition and the need to improve processes in the US, there was and still is a renewed interest in the improvement of operational processes in order to satisfy customers (clients, citizens, employees). This course focuses on data gathering and data analysis needed to determine how to approach the improvement of operational processes.