One of my favorite TV shows is “The Profit,” a CNBC production starring multi-millionaire entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis.
In each episode, Marcus evaluates a small business and decides whether to invest in its growth. The main tool he uses to make business decisions is called the “3 P’s of Business Success”: People, Process, and Product.
I was curious about who first developed this concept. Was it Mr. Lemonis?
It turns out this concept has its origins in Lean (a systematic processing method used to eliminate waste). After doing some research, I discovered 5 additional versions that can add depth to your understanding of how to run a successful business.
In this post, you will see each of the six examples and illustrations, along with ideas on how to increase your level of business risk intelligence.
Why the 3 P’s?
In order to make sense of the possible vulnerabilities that could cause harm in your organization, you can use tools to simplify and help clarify where the problems are occurring.
You can find a variety of other tools here on my website.
Today, I will be sharing 6 versions of a tool called the 3 P’s:
1. The 3 P’s of Business Success
Let’s start with the most popular one, which is mentioned by Marcus Lemonis on his CNBC show The Profit.
People, Process, and Product
To add more depth, I’ve included some details that are mentioned on The Profit and elsewhere in interviews with Mr. Lemonis.
- Hire the right people to work for you
- Put them in the right roles
- Create an environment that helps employees perform at their best
- Treat everyone with respect
- Increase efficiency in all areas
- Find which fewest number of steps will yield the best results
- Look for opportunities to scale (increase production by 10 times)
- Evaluate market characteristics (pricing, packaging, sizing, targeting)
- Consider the feedback from your customers
- Modify packaging and streamline options to maximize sales
2. The Lean 3 P’s
This concept was created by Lean management expert James P. Womack. He is the founder of Lean Enterprise Institute and the author of Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation.
Mr. Womack first published the Lean 3 P’s on his blog in 2006, seven years before The Profit first aired. This is actually an established Six Sigma and quality management principle (read more info here).
In an article on his website, Mr. Womack states that he had noticed that many Lean-trained management professionals tend to focus on metrics and performance alone, rather than relating their metrics to the company’s purpose and values,
In response, he developed a variation by replacing Product with Purpose.
Purpose, People, Process
Customer view: “What do customers want that you can’t supply?”
- Lower price
- Better quality
- Post-delivery support (such as Product-As-a-Service)
- Faster process
- Flexible design
Business view: “What is needed for your company to prosper?”
- High margins
- Fast response to new opportunities
- New market awareness
- Faster production or delivery methods
- Who is responsible for every important process?
- Who evaluates the value stream in terms of business purpose?
- Is everyone in the value stream actively engaged in making improvements?
Consider all actions and information needed to provide value to a customer. Each step should be
- Connected to the next step
3. The 3 P’s of Organizational Success
Created by Peter McLean of The Leadership Lamplight, posted April 4, 2013
A third version of the 3 P’s shows what happens if we focus too much on two parts rather than all 3.
People, Product, and Process
In the above image, you can see that combining any two circles without the third will result in an inadequate outcome, as follows:
People + Process = Bureaucracy; low achievement, high adaptability but no results focus or accountability
Process + Product = Robotic fulfillment; low motivation; low innovation
Product + People = Uncertainty; chaos; lack of innovation or systems for achievement or change
But if all three are used together, the organization will have a higher chance of reaching its goals:
People + Product + Process = Stand-out success! High innovation, adaptability, and motivation. Balanced achievement and accountability
In his article, Mr. McLean concludes:
“It boils down to this:
- What do we want to achieve?
- Who is going to achieve it and with/to whom?
- How are they going to achieve it?
- How do we support all of the above?”
Sources: https://web.archive.org/web/20140517064138/http://theleadershiplamplight.com/2013/04/04/the-3ps-of-organisational-success/, https://leadershiplamplight.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/3ps-version-a.jpgs (image) and http://www.lamplighter.com.au/ (current website)
4. The 3 P’s of Successful Product Development
I found this example in a Slideshare presentation created by Lou Bahrmasel, PMP, MBA. In it, Mr. Bahrmasel provides some detailed information for each of the categories.
Product, People, Process
Product (Requirements, Design, Validation)
People (Organization, Personnel, Training)
- Organizational Chart
- Job Responsibilities
- Succession Plan
- Specialization / Niche
Process (Standardization, Framework, Tools)
- Swim Lanes
- Continuous Improvement
- Document Management
5. The 3 P’s of Service Marketing
This is another Slideshare presentation created by a student named Presented by Junesh Acharya.
He provided examples of how “Physical Evidence” should appeal to buyers in the marketing and sales cycle.
People, Process, Physical Evidence
- Human actors in a service delivery cycle
- Personnel, internal customers, and external customers (buyers)
- Flow of activity
- Service delivery and operating system
- Environment where service is assembled
- Delivery experience
- Communication methods
- Tangible commodities (brochures, letterhead, business cards, report formats)
- Physical facilities
6. The 3 P’s of Sustainability
Finally, the sixth example was developed by Julie Fraser of Iyno Advisors. It focuses on Sustainability and includes environmental considerations (Planet) as one of the essential parts of business success.
Profit, Planet, People
- High earning potential
- Positive cashflow
- Healthy profit margins
- Sustainable business model
- Lower carbon footprint
- Lower emissions
- Decrease pollution
- Conscious of landfill use
- Eliminate use of “conflict minerals” in mining operations including tantalum (and its derivative coltan), tin (and derivative casserite), tungsten (and derivative tungsten), and gold.
- Consider labor costs
- Manage customer expectations
- Provide measurable value
- Treat everyone with respect
I hope you have enjoyed these six examples of business success. Leave a comment below to share which one(s) you are using in your business!
Interested in hearing how you can reverse a toxic workplace? Find out more here.
Grace LaConte is a business consultant, writer, workplace equity strategist, and the founder of LaConte Consulting. Her risk management tools are used around the globe, and she has successfully reversed toxic work environments for clients in the healthcare and non-profit fields. Grace specializes in lactation law compliance & policy development, reducing staff turnover after maternity leave, and creating a participatory work culture.