23 Pages

Production Preparation Process, 3P

WithJohn Nicholas

Production preparation process (3P) is a lean method for designing new products, processes, and facilities and for making innovative improvements to existing processes, products, and facilities. Most applications of 3P are aimed at "design," "redesign," or "development," in all cases breaking from the preexisting mold and starting with a more or less clean slate. Traditionally, products are developed in stages wherein each requires special expertise. In terms of lean production, think of the traditional design approach as large-batch and integrated rapid-learning approach as small-batch. The main differences between 3P and kaizen events are in terms of purpose, team member roles, and specific activities in the event. The team in a 3P event consists of parties from throughout the product life cycle and other interested stakeholders. Three-P events are part of a broader product and process design process that has five phases: gathering information, innovating, prototyping, optimizing, and project planning.