Selecting jobs for method study


Cost is the usual basis for the selection of operations, sections or departments likely to benefit from method study. The following defects in an organization indicate where method study is likely to bring worthwhile savings:

1. Poor use of materials, labor or machine capacity, resulting in high scrap and reprocessing costs.

2. Bad layout or operation planning, resulting in unnecessary movement of materials.

3. Existence of bottlenecks. Work begins to pile up.

4. Inconsistencies in quality.

5. Highly fatiguing work.

6. Employees’ complaints about their work without logical reasons. Labor discontent.

7. Workload is unevenly distributed. Some workers are over-burdened, and get excessive over-time and some are under-loaded with a lot of spare time.

8. Areas of high accident rate.

9. Bad quality of work.

The question is whether a change is likely to achieve the following results sufficiently to make the cost of the study worth while:

1. Increase production and reduce cots.
2. Maintain it with less labor, materials or equipment.
3. Improve quality without additional labor or equipment.
4. Improve safety conditions.
5. Improve standards of cleanliness and house-keeping
6. Reduce scrap.

When all these matters have been weighed up in the light of the economic importance of a task and its expected life, the manager should be able to select the work to be investigated.

The manager should also list the objectives for the study in order of priority. (Danger of going too far and carrying the study to uneconomic limits must be avoided).

Both in selecting objectives on the larger scale e.g. a whole company or plant and in choosing the economically appropriate methods, mathematical techniques like “Operational research� are used hand in hand with method study.

Once a job is selected for method study, we have to make an official record of:

(i) The name of the job to be investigated.
(ii) Objectives of this investigation.
(iii) Accountability for this investigation.
(iv) Resources available for this investigation.
(v) Person authorizing the investigation.

Having selected the job and getting it approved for method study, we should communicate this to all concerned outlining the logic behind the study. Method Study becomes successful if everyone involved extends to it the necessary co-operation.

The need for Records

In order that the activities selected for investigations may be visualized in the entirely, with a view to improving them by subsequent critical analysis, it is essential to have means of placing on record all the necessary facts of the existing method.

A record is also essential if a before-and-after comparison is to be made to assess the effectiveness of the investigation and the subsequent installation of the new method.

It is tedious and costly to jot down every small detail about a particular job. It is, therefore, convenient to use charts and phonographic or electronic methods of recording.