The Power of the 3P Process in Lean Layout Development

The world of manufacturing constantly seeks to improve, to evolve, and to fine-tune its processes. Central to this evolution is the 3P Process or the Production Preparation Process. This approach has revolutionized the way products are designed and developed, ensuring a leaner, more efficient manufacturing process.

Understanding the 3P Process

At its core, the 3P Process is about gaining a holistic perspective of both the design and manufacturing of a product. Teams engage in a journey, often spanning a week, where they brainstorm a myriad of ideas and gradually refine them to pinpoint the most viable ones. This process can be applied to either the product design or its manufacturing process.

One of the unique elements of a 3P project is the cross-functional team involved. Comprising of top-tier performers, these teams are larger than your usual kaizen team, sometimes including up to 20 members for significant product shifts.

When is the 3P Process Utilized?

3P shines in high-risk/high-reward situations. Some instances include:

  • Launching a new product.
  • Responding to a drastic change in product demand.
  • Moving the production to a new venue.
  • Implementing a significant design change in light of external competition.
  • Solving persistent quality issues in the production process.
  • Tackling barriers to Lean implementation.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that the 3P Process is not an elementary tool. It demands an intricate understanding of other Lean principles and is typically suited for companies well-advanced on their continuous improvement journey.

Phases of the 3P Process

  1. Define the Problem: Every project initiates with grasping the core need.
  2. Set Goals and Objectives: The impact on profit and loss can be substantial, hence clarity in objectives is paramount.
  3. Analysis and Diagramming: Teams dissect products and analyze how parts fit together, using descriptive words to elaborate the assembly process.
  4. Screen and Vet Ideas: The objective is to prioritize and retain only the top-tier ideas.
  5. Moonshine the Best Ideas: This phase translates ideas from paper to tangible designs, ensuring they are feasible.
  6. Select the Process/Design: Finalize the blueprint, ensuring the new product or process is optimal.

Benefits of the 3P Process

By incorporating the 3P Process, companies can expect:

  • Reduced production issues.
  • Streamlined production processes.
  • Significant ROI due to the vast resources and time invested in these projects.
  • Enhanced mentorship opportunities for team members.
  • Greater product and process clarity before actual production begins.

The Role of The Productivity Team

As you explore the realms of production, The Productivity Team stands ready to be your trusted partner. With our expertise and commitment, we ensure that your journey through the intricacies of the 3P Process is seamless, insightful, and productive.


The 3P Process is an unparalleled approach for businesses committed to achieving lean layout development. It’s not merely a tool but a paradigm shift, a holistic method to rethink, redesign, and reinvigorate the entire manufacturing process.

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