Time and motion study
Overview
 
A time and motion study (or time-motion study) is a business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 efficiency
Efficiency (economics)
In economics, the term economic efficiency refers to the use of resources so as to maximize the production of goods and services. An economic system is said to be more efficient than another if it can provide more goods and services for society without using more resources...

 technique combining the Time Study work of Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management and was one of the first management consultants...

 with the Motion Study work of Frank
Frank Bunker Gilbreth
Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. was an early advocate of scientific management and a pioneer of motion study, but is perhaps best known as the father and central figure of Cheaper by the Dozen.- Biography :...

 and Lillian
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Lillian Moller Gilbreth was an American psychologist and industrial engineer. One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she is arguably the first true industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr...

 Gilbreth (not to be confused with their son, best known through the biographical 1950 film and book Cheaper by the Dozen
Cheaper by the Dozen
Cheaper by the Dozen is a biographical book written by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey that tells the story of time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and their twelve children. The book focuses on the many years the...

). It is a major part of scientific management
Scientific management
Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management...

 (Taylorism). After its first introduction, time study developed in the direction of establishing standard times, while motion study evolved into a technique for improving work methods.
Encyclopedia
A time and motion study (or time-motion study) is a business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 efficiency
Efficiency (economics)
In economics, the term economic efficiency refers to the use of resources so as to maximize the production of goods and services. An economic system is said to be more efficient than another if it can provide more goods and services for society without using more resources...

 technique combining the Time Study work of Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management and was one of the first management consultants...

 with the Motion Study work of Frank
Frank Bunker Gilbreth
Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. was an early advocate of scientific management and a pioneer of motion study, but is perhaps best known as the father and central figure of Cheaper by the Dozen.- Biography :...

 and Lillian
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Lillian Moller Gilbreth was an American psychologist and industrial engineer. One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she is arguably the first true industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr...

 Gilbreth (not to be confused with their son, best known through the biographical 1950 film and book Cheaper by the Dozen
Cheaper by the Dozen
Cheaper by the Dozen is a biographical book written by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey that tells the story of time and motion study and efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and their twelve children. The book focuses on the many years the...

). It is a major part of scientific management
Scientific management
Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management...

 (Taylorism). After its first introduction, time study developed in the direction of establishing standard times, while motion study evolved into a technique for improving work methods. The two techniques became integrated and refined into a widely accepted method applicable to the improvement and upgrading of work systems. This integrated approach to work system improvement is known as methods engineering and it is applied today to industrial as well as service organizations, including banks, schools and hospitals.

Time and motion study have to be used together in order to achieve rational and reasonable results.
It is particularly important that effort be applied in motion study to ensure equitable results when time study is used. In fact, much of the difficulty with time study is a result of applying it without a thorough study of the motion pattern of the job. Motion study can be considered the foundation for time study. The time study measures the time required to perform a given task in accordance with a specified method and is valid only so long as the method is continued. Once a new work method is developed, the time study must be changed to agree with the new method.

Time study

Time study is a direct and continuous observation of a task, using a timekeeping device (e.g., decimal minute stopwatch, computer-assisted electronic stopwatch, and videotape camera) to record the time taken to accomplish a task and it is often used when:
  • there are repetitive work cycles of short to long duration,
  • wide variety of dissimilar work is performed, or
  • process control elements constitute a part of the cycle.


The Industrial Engineering Terminology Standard defines time study as "a work measurement technique consisting of careful time measurement of the task with a time measuring instrument, adjusted for any observed variance from normal effort or pace and to allow adequate time for such items as foreign elements, unavoidable or machine delays, rest to overcome fatigue, and personal needs."

The systems of time and motion studies are frequently assumed to be interchangeable terms, descriptive of equivalent theories. However, the underlying principles and the rationale for the establishment of each respective method are dissimilar, despite originating within the same school of thought.

The application of science to business problems, and the use of time-study methods in standard setting and the planning of work, was pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor liaised with factory managers and from the success of these discussions wrote several papers proposing the use of wage-contingent performance standards based on scientific time study. At its most basic level time studies involved breaking down each job into component parts, timing each part and rearranging the parts into the most efficient method of working. By counting and calculating, Taylor wanted to transform management, which was essentially an oral tradition, into a set of calculated and written techniques.

Taylor and his colleagues placed emphasis on the content of a fair day’s work, and sought to maximise productivity irrespective of the physiological cost to the worker. For example, Taylor thought unproductive time usage (soldering) to be the deliberate attempt of workers to promote their best interests and to keep employers ignorant of how fast work could be carried out. This instrumental view of human behaviour by Taylor, prepared the path for human relations to supersede scientific management in terms of literary success and managerial application.

Criticisms

In response to Taylor’s time studies and view of human nature, many strong criticisms and reactions were recorded. Unions, for example, regarded time study as a disguised tool of management designed to standardise and intensify the pace of production. Similarly, individuals such as Gilbreth (1909), Cadbury and Marshall heavily criticised Taylor and pervaded his work with subjectivity. For example, Cadbury in reply to Thompson stated that under scientific management employee skills and initiatives are passed from the individual to management, a view reiterated by Nyland. In addition, Taylor’s critics condemned the lack of scientific substance in his time studies, in the sense that they relied heavily on individual interpretations of what workers actually do. However, the value in rationalising production is indisputable and supported by academics such as Gantt, Ford and Munsterberg, and Taylor society members Mr C.G. Renold, Mr W.H. Jackson and Mr C.B. Thompson.

Motion studies

In contrast to, and motivated by Taylor’s time study methods the Gilbreth’s proposed a technical language, allowing for the analysis of the labour process in a scientific context. The Gilbreths’ made use of scientific insights, to develop a study method based upon the analysis of work motions, consisting in part of filming the details of a worker’s activities while recording the time. The films served two main purposes. One was the visual record of how work had been done, emphasising areas for improvement. Secondly, the films also served the purpose of training workers about the best way to perform their work. This method allowed the Gilbreths to build on the best elements of these work flows and to create a standardised best practice.

Taylor Vs. the Gilbreths

Although, for Taylor, motion study remained subordinate to time study, the attention he paid to it demonstrated the seriousness he considered the Gilbreths’ method. The split with Taylor in 1914, on the basis of attitudes to workers, meant the Gilbreth’s had to argue contrary to the trade unionists, government commissions and Robert Hoxie who believed scientific management was unstoppable. The Gilbreths were charged with the task of proving that motion study particularly, and scientific management generally, increased industrial output in ways which improved and did not detract from the worker’s mental and physical strength. This was no simple task given the propaganda fuelling the Hoxie report and the consequent union opposition to scientific management. In addition, the Gilbreths credibility and academic success continued to be hampered by Taylor who held the view that motion studies were nothing more than a continuation of his work.

While both Taylor and the Gilbret’s continue to be criticised for their respective work, it should be remembered that they were writing at a time of industrial reorganisation and the emergence of large, complex organisations with new forms of technology. Furthermore, to equate scientific management merely with time and motion study and consequently labour control not only misconceives the scope of scientific management, but also misinterprets Taylor’s incentives for proposing a different style of managerial thought.

Direct time study procedure

Following is the procedure developed by Mikell Groover for a direct time study:
  1. Define and document the standard method.
  2. Divide the task into work elements.
    Steps 1 and 2 These two steps are primary steps conducted prior to actual timing. They familiarise the analyst with the task and allow the analyst to attempt to improve the work procedure before defining the standard time.
  3. Time the work elements to obtain the observed time for the task.
  4. Evaluate the worker’s pace relative to standard performance (performance rating), to determine the normal time.
    Note that steps 3 and 4 are accomplished simultaneously. During these steps, several different work cycles are timed, and each cycle performance is rated independently. Finally, the values collected at these steps are averaged to get the normalised time.
  5. Apply an allowance to the normal time to compute the standard time. The allowance factors that are needed in the work are then added to compute the standard time for the task.

See also

  • Ergonomics
    Ergonomics
    Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities.The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:...

  • Human factors
    Human factors
    Human factors science or human factors technologies is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions from psychology, engineering, industrial design, statistics, operations research and anthropometry...

  • Methods-time measurement
    Methods-time measurement
    Methods-Time Measurement is a predetermined motion time system that is used primarily in industrial settings to analyse the methods used to perform any manual operation or task and, as a byproduct of that analysis, set the standard time in which a worker should complete that task.-History:The...

  • Predetermined motion time system
    Predetermined motion time system
    A predetermined motion time system is frequently used to set labor rates in industry by quantifying the amount of time required to perform specific tasks. The first such system is known as Methods-time measurement, released in 1948 and today existing in several variations, commonly known as...

  • Standard time
    Standard time (manufacturing)
    In industrial engineering, the standard time is the time required by an average skilled operator, working ata normal pace, to perform a specified task using a prescribed method...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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