Class 3: Managing The Workforce



Methods Improvement - Daily Activity, Systematic, Empirical, Inquisitive, Improvement/Results Oriented.


Methods Improvement Is Important In All Types Of Manufacturing Operations But Is Especially Significant In Labor Intensive Processes Such As:

      The Job Shop (Norcen),

      Batch Flow (Bank Clothiers)

      Machine Paced Line Flow (Carrier Plant)

      Worker Paced Line Flow (Burger King)

      Service Shop (Ogle-Tucker Buick).


Methods Improvement Consists Of Those Traditional Industrial Engineering Functions Such As:


Motion Study - The Formal Study Of Work Methods And Worker Interaction With:

      Raw Materials

      Product Design

      Process Design


      Plant Layout


Methods Engineers Study Repetitive Tasks By Using A Variety Of Techniques such as:


Process Flow Charts For Materials Or Labor:


Trace Product Movement Thru Process


Provides Detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) For Study Of Process.


Improvements Come In The Form Of:

    Adding Worker

    Improved Layout

    Re-Sequencing Operation


Goal Of This Is To Eliminate Needless Movement Of Worker Or Materials Or Other-Wise Simplify Operation

Worker-Machine Or Worker-Worker Charts Study Interactions Between The Two.


    Use To Understand The Cycle Times Of Workers And Machines And Attempt To Balance Them For Efficiency As Much as possible


    Goal Is To Minimize Idle Times Of The Two Thereby Maximizing Outputs.


Worker-Worker Charts Are Similar To Worker-Machine But Chart Interrelationships Of Workers. (effective in service organizations - chart worker interfaces)


Especially Useful In Labor Intensive Service Operations.

Data May Be Based Upon:

    Personal Observation

    Videotaping (Complex Tasks)



Videotape Facilitates Study Of Complex Tasks In Great Detail For Memomotion/Micro-Motion Analysis -


Memomotion - Study of Complex/Long Duration Tasks that are not necessarily repetitive. Filmed at slow speeds


Micromotion - Study of Small-Scale Tasks Studied In Detail ------(Frank & Lillian Gilbreth 17 Motion Categories, ie. Therbligs)

1.   grasp,

2.   position,

3.   pre-position,

4.   use,

5.   assemble,

6.   disassemble,

7.   release

8.   load,

9.   transport empty,

10.  transport loaded,

11.  search,

12.  select,

13.  hold,

14.  unavoidable delay,

15.  rest,

16.  plan,

17.  inspect


Non-Repetitive Tasks Are Studied As Well - Memomotion analysis can be of use, as well as:


1-Work Activity Analysis:

Worker Chronologically Lists :


    Time Spent

    Number Of Actions


(ie. forms processed, memos written, other? Example: Gov't Schedule X!)


Suitable For Clerical Or Other Jobs Having Irregular Daily Patterns Of Work Which Are Fairly Stable In Overall Daily/Weekly Content


2-Work Sampling:

      Random Observation Of Worker (by an observer)

      Calculation Of Time Spent Performing:

      Specific Tasks

      Idle Waiting


Work Sampling Is Less Disruptive Than Work Activity Analysis But Observations Are Time Consuming And Entail Much Movement Throughout The Operation


      Can threaten worker, distracting - Post Office has used concealed observation in bulk mail centers


      Work Sampling is useful in nonstandard jobs - support functions as: engineers, other professional, semi-professional.


Implementation of Work Sampling Requires:


      Categorizing/Prioritizing Work

      Establish Random Pattern Of Observation

      Use A Statistically Suitable Number Of Observations Based Upon Relative Frequency of Task or Occurrence of delay


Value Engineering and Value Analysis)


    Product/Process Improvement Methodology

    Goal Is To Improve At Same Cost, Reduce Cost Or Both

Refinements May Be Made In:


    Product Design

    Materials Used


VE may be used in contracts as an inducement to cut costs ie., gainsharing

Time Study And Time Standards:


      Pioneered By Frederick Taylor

      Tool = Stopwatch Vice Camera


Five Broad Applications:


1-Planning And Budgeting

2-Balance Operations

3-Improve Performance

4-Evaluate Workers

5-Define/Measure Productivity

Efficiency = (Standard Hours / Actual Hours) X 100%


Time Standards May Be Developed By 4 Methods:


1-Using Historical Data (Within Company) - NORCEN


2-Time Study By Observing Task Elements - Jos Banks


Corrected For:

      Suspected Worker "Dogging"

      Unavoidable Delays


3-Predetermined Motion-Time Systems - Burger King


    Task Is Decomposed Into Discreet Motions

    Suitable for time study relating to new, undefined jobs and worker "efficiency rating"

    From Data Base, Times Are Assigned (How are they derived?)

    Sum Of Motion Times = Task Time

    Tasks broken down into "basic motions" which are documented (in industrial engineering databases)


Maynard Operation Sequence Technique (MOST) System Based Upon Three Sequences Of Motions


Represents An Aggregate Of Small Measurements In MTM Sequence


Moves= General, Controlled, Tool Use


4-Standard Data Systems (Developed For Similar Industrial Tasks) Carrier Heating Plant


      Similar to MOST in Pre-determined Motion-Time Studies

      Task Times Related To Pre-Existing Data Base

      Job under study is broken down into elements either directly or closely related to those previously done and for which data is available


Characteristics Of Some Systems:


Time Study And MTM Analysis Preferred When:


    Accurate Standards Required

    Accurate Worker Evaluation Is Important


MOST (Maynard Operation Sequence Technique) Is Useful For Developing Standards For Tasks Having Considerable Worker Discretion in their performance.

Standard Data Systems Used For Routine Work Where Much Historical Time Standards All Ready Exists


(Exercise: Students (Groups A and B) Describe An Everyday Event - List Tasks Associated With Making Coffee) and Compare Results


Worker Incentives:


Individual Incentives-


Piece Rate: Workers Paid According To How Much They Produce. Piece rate System Is Characterized By:


      Incentivizes Productivity

      Standards For Premium Or Penalty Pay Must Be Accurate

      Some Employees May Learn To Beat The System (Quality Control Is Critical Here)

      Dissatisfaction Can Result If Employees Perceive Inequities (No Pay For Rework)


Piece Rate System Best Used In Processes Where:


      Worker Output Easily Measured

      Jobs Are Standard And Stable

      Regular Flow, Adequate Backlog

      Standard Of Workmanship Is Clear


Standard Hour System: Wage Rate Varies As Output Exceeds or Falls Short of A Pre-determined Standard Hourly Output


Group Incentives -


1-Small Group Incentives Which Apply To The Team(Suitable To Worker Paced Line Flow (Where Group Can Control Product/Output)

2-Plant/Company Wide Incentives Which Apply Plant/Company Wide:


      Productivity Or Gain-Sharing Plans, i.e. Productivity Efficiency Enhancement and Reward (PEER)


      Scanlon Plan Establishes:

    A Bonus Pool For Output In Excess Of A Predetermined Baseline

    Monthly Gainsharing From "Pot" (Based Upon "Beating" A Unit Labor Cost Standard)

    Traditional Profit Sharing

Job Design Affects Quality Of Work Life


(Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs And Hertzburg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory)




      Safety And Health At Workplace

      Self Fulfillment


      Sense Of Importance

      Opportunity For Personal Growth


      Social Well Being

      Individual Rights In Workplace

      Work Relative To Family/Leisure Time

      Social Acceptance Of Occupation


Categories Of Job Redesign:


Job Enlargement:

Combining Activities To Make Job More Comprehensive, hence, in Theory, More Rewarding


Job Enrichment:

      Provide Worker More Control Over Work He/She Does

      Increase Worker Sense of Autonomy And Responsibility


Trend is towards increased worker involvement in:


      Devising the nature of the work

      Participating in Quality Programs (Quality circles, Board Membership, SP are examples of this) Other student examples?



Trade Unions: Discuss pros and cons of unions in the workplace.


How Might Job Design/Redesign Initiatives Be Impacted By Unions?


(Consider both positive and negative impacts)

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