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Time and Motion 


Productivity is often linked with “time and motion”. The evidence of time and motion studies was used to put pressure on workers to perform faster. Not surprisingly these studies had a bad press as far as workers were concerned.

Similarly the image of “time and motion” doesn’t sit well with us as productivity specialists. The real responsibility for productivity or performance improvement should be largely in the hands of those organising the work rather than the individual worker.

Productivity is about the effective and efficient use of all resources. To manage the resources of a business it is essential that you

  • understand exactly what needs to be done to meet customer demand
  • establish a plan that clearly identifies the work to be carried out
  • define and implement the methodologies that need to be used to complete all activities and tasks efficiently
  • establish how long it will actually take to complete each activity and task
  • determine what resources you need to meet the plan
  • provide the necessary resources and initiate the plan
  • constantly monitor what is actually happening against the plan
  • identify variances and take the relevant actions to correct them or modify the plan

Method and time study

Because it’s the method that determines the time needed for any activity, the whole emphasis has changed over the years. The 21st century equivalent of the time and motion study is more literally a method and time study. This is a more far-reaching philosophy and approach to managing a business.

When everyone is focussed on better and leaner processes the methods improve, time is reduced and more value is added. This - with continuous improvement - means activities become more streamlined and Lean.

Lean means that anything wasteful is shown the bin! (movement, time, materials, space)
When improvements and Lean initiatives are identified and implemented, workers can often benefit from less stressful working conditions, less fatigue - potentially better rewards, maybe in the form of different hours, increased pay and job satisfaction. It can be a win-win situation.

If you think you want some sort of time and motion study, contact us.

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