method studyan aspect of WORK STUDY which involves the systematic recording and analysis of the way in which a JOB is performed, with a view to developing and applying easier and more efficient methods of performing the task. More effective work methods can help increase PRODUCTIVITY and reduce labour costs.
Method study involves a number of steps:
- the selection of the work to be studied, giving priority to permanent jobs with a high labour content where potential cost savings are substantial;
- the recording of the existing work method. For DIRECT LABOUR involved in repetitive tasks this can be done by using an ACTIVITY CHART to record all the work tasks performed by a person and/or machine using standard symbols for the activities: operation, transportation, inspection etc. Alternatively, video tape records of the work being performed by direct operatives can be used. For managers, staff and INDIRECT LABOUR involved in a wide range of tasks ACTIVITY SAMPLING can provide information about the relative time spent on each main activity undertaken;
- the critical examination of these records to establish the purpose, place and sequence of activities, and the means by which they are performed, in order to facilitate
- the development of an improved work method by eliminating unnecessary activities, combining activities, changing their sequence or simplifying them;
- the installation of the new method and provision of appropriate training for
- the maintenance of the new work practice.
Method study is generally undertaken prior to WORK MEASUREMENT.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson