What is 3P?

3P is a shorthand way of referring to a method that is set up to help make changes and improvements in the production process. The 3 P’s in this system are, “Production, Preparation, and Process.” The concept behind this system is to help to accomplish rapid, integrated prototyping of products as well as processes. This will help facilities to keep up with the evolving demand of their customers. It will also help to improve efficiency in how things are done in a facility, which can eliminate waste and improve efficiency.

Phases of 3P

There are several phases that are typically followed by facilities using 3P. The phases of 3P are as follows:

  • Defining the Problem – This is where those involve will make a business case for a particular change that is being proposed.
  • Setting Goals – Identifying the exact goals that will be sought will help to keep everyone on target. It will also help ensure the support of upper management is given.
  • Analyzing & Diagramming – During this phase it will be necessary to gather information about the processes as they are now, and how they will hopefully be after the process. Diagramming layouts and other steps involved will also be critical here.
  • Screen & Vet Ideas – Look at all the ideas that have been proposed for this product or process. Make sure they are good ideas that deserve the additional effort that will be needed when moving forward.
  • Draft the Best Ideas – Take the best ideas that are in place thus far and try to work up a basic version of them. This is often called, ‘moonshining’ the best ideas because it involves tossing together an unrefined solution to see how it goes. At this stage it is often a good idea to draft up multiple different ideas so that they can be compared.
  • Choose the Best Process or Design – Compare the various drafted ideas and see which ones are working the best. Make sure you are using an objective standard (based on the original goals) to decide which ones are the best.

Once these phases have been completed the facility will have a way to implement the best ideas for improving their processes or products. Using the 3P method will help to go through a number of different improvement options in a relatively short period of time so that the best one can be used going forward.


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