• Hoag Huntington Beach 3P

Rapid, Full-Scale Process Prototyping  |  3P

3P refers to “People Planning Process” and is adapted from the Toyota Production System’s “Production Preparation Process.” It is an effective design tool for healthcare because it emphasizes efficient operating processes as the basis of design. The 3P approach sees the design team creating prototypes and simulations to develop an ideal process by working alongside those who will ultimately utilize and best know the workspace.

This process improvement approach calls for a 3P event—typically an intensive week-long, hands-on workshop conducted with representatives from key stakeholder groups. This includes everyone in the trenches on the front line, from providers and administrators to receptionists and materials managers. During the event, the designers help users to develop an ideal work process that suits how they work while eliminating waste and inefficiencies to reach an ideal future state. The users and the architects build full scale mock-ups out of cardboard to test, simulate and finalize design ideas.

Throughout the event the team collectively builds, simulates, evaluates, and rebuilds—rooting out waste and seeking value. This creates opportunities to turn ideas into physical models that people can visualize and relate to, while concentrating on flow and process improvement. The ability to simulate actual clinical work shows what works and what doesn’t, and it provides an affordable and highly visible way to do a “Plan, Do, Check, Act” (PDCA) cycle. The 3P event results in a product that truly meets the users’ needs.

We use 3P as our preferred way to design healthcare facilities. Our 3P projects run more smoothly with fewer design revisions, shorter design schedules, and reduced construction RFIs. Boulder staff have facilitated more than 200 3P events for healthcare providers around the country. Bill Keen, our lead 3P facilitator, was the first person to bring the 3P method from manufacturing to healthcare.