How to Conduct a Time Study
The time study is an act used to measure the amount of time an employee takes to perform a process or a series of processes that are required in their daily work routine. Time studies are not to be confused with the study of motion; as they are strictly a numerical measurement of time usually documented in one-hundredths of an hour. There are other methods in use today, in addition to time studies, which help time analyst’s measure work. They are standard data, predetermined time systems, and work samplings; however, these methods will not produce results that are as accurate as those produced by a properly performed time study. Whenever a time analyst performs a time study they should be aware of the importance of performing an accurate and fair assessment. The results of their study can affect many things associated with the wellbeing of the company. The company relies on accurate results in order to determine schedules, develop standard cost, rate machine effectiveness and determine the actual time standard that wage incentives are determined from. The actual employees affected by the time standards should feel as if the time study was performed with a sense of fairness towards them. This will keep the moral of the workers high and benefit the company with increased production. The culmination of an effective performance and implementation of a time study is the old adage stating; “a fair days work for a fair day’s wage”. The following sections will identify key areas to address before, during and after a time study.
Determine the Process and Personnel to Study
Time studies will not be performed unless an authorized figure within the company makes a request for one. Typical figures that can authorize time study requests are plant managers, chief engineers, production control managers and the process supervisors. It is typically the supervisor that will request the time study for a new job or for a job that has made changes in the way the process was performed. The supervisor should request a time study only for jobs where the methods in which they are performed have been standardized. Frievalds and Niebel state “Unless all details of the method and working conditions have been standardized, the time standards will have little value and will become a continual source of mistrust, grievances and internal friction” (Niebel & Freivalds, 2014, p. 416). After the request is made and a time analyst is assigned to the time study, notifications should be given to the appropriate people and departments. If the process to be studied takes place in an union shop, the time analyst should notify the union steward of the impending time study. The union steward, department supervisor, and process operator should work together to ensure a fair, accurate and coordinated time study.
After initiating a time study for a job process, the supervisor must then choose the appropriate operator to evaluate. A qualified, well...