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3P stands for Production Process Preparation and it is a tool that focuses on eliminating waste by taking a step back and trying to design products and processes that avoid waste in the first place.
3P is a more advanced Lean tool typically implemented by organizations that have a solid understanding of Lean and that have had success creating a Lean workplace.
Unlike some Lean methods that focus on incremental changes (such as kaizen), 3P aims to fundamentally change the way work is performed by developing a whole new process. A 3P event could span several days and involve people from throughout an organization. During this time, people come up with alternatives whose design prevents waste. Participants might go through a series of suggested products and processes to arrive at the best option.
Users of 3P should keep in mind one of the reasons this type of design is so significant: building a system that meets the needs of the business and the customer ahead of time can eliminate the need for costly system adjustments or improvements later on.