Method Study

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 3: Time and Motion Study

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4



A systematic procedure for analyzing the existing method of doing job, including the various human movements involved in it, in order to develop as easy, efficient, effective and less fatiguing procedure for doing the same job at the lowest cost.

Advantages/Objectives of Method study

  1. Effective utilization of men, material and machinery.
  2. Improved working process and standardized procedure.
  3. Efficient and faster material handling.
  4. Better quality of the products.
  5. Reduce fatigue to work.
  6. The improvement of factory, shop and workplace layout.
  7. The development of a better physical working environment.

Procedure of Method study

Fig.: Procedure of Method study

Method study is an analysis of ways of doing work. The mnemonic SREDIM (a common-sense heuristic or general problem solving strategy) represents the method study stages: 

  1. Select: Work is selected and objective is defined. The job should be selected for the method study based upon the following considerations:
    1. Economical aspect.
    2. Technical aspect.
    3. Human aspect
  2. Record: All relevant information about the present method is recorded by direct observation. Recording techniques used for method study are charts and diagrams.
  3. Critical Analysis: Critically analyses the data collected. In this step, the information provided by charts and diagrams is critically examined and screened by asking some searching questions. Like – what is done, who does it, where, how, when etc. are asked. This examination is carried out with a view to eliminate, combine, rearrange and/or simplify the activities.
  4. Develop: Develop the most practical, economical and safe method. After critical examination of records is complete, it is necessary to transform the learning’s into the development of new methods.
  5. Install: Implementation of new method and evaluation of its efficiency to prevent a drifting back to the previous method of work.
  6. Maintain: ensure proper functioning of method by various checks and verifications.

Techniques used for Recording in Method Study

Fig.: Recording techniques for Method study
  1. Process Chart: A chart representing a process by recording graphically or diagrammatically all the operations connected with a process. The chart usually begins with the raw material entering the factory and follows it through every step, such as transportation to storage, inspection, machining operations, and assembly, until it becomes either a finished unit itself or a part of a subassembly. Types of process charts are:
    1. Outline Process Chart: Records only main operations and events of a process. An operation process chart provides the chronological sequence of all operations and inspections that occur in a manufacturing or business process.
    2. Two handed Process Chart: Record the left hand and right hand activities of an operator as related to each other.
    3. Flow Process Chart: According to “American Society of Mechanical Engineering” it is a graphical presentation of the sequence of all operations, transportations, inspections, delay and storage of occurring during a process or procedure and also includes information considered desirable such as time required and distance moved. Various types of flow process charts are:
      1. Man Flow Process Chart: Records the activities or operations performed by an operator or worker.
      2. Equipment Flow Process Chart: Records the way in which machine and equipment is used.
      3. Material Flow Process Chart: Records all the operations performed on the material i.e. distance moved, storage, delay etc.
  2. Diagram: Diagrams indicates movement whereas process chart indicates only sequence of events. There are two types of diagrams:-
    1. Flow Diagram: A drawing or a diagram which is drawn to scale. Sometimes a better picture of the process can be obtained by putting flow lines on a plan drawing of the building or area in which the activity takes place. This is called a flow diagram.
    2. String Diagram: A model plan of a shop, in which every machine or equipment is marked and pin in stick in the area representing the facility. A continuous colored thread is used to trace the path taken by material or worker it is used when path are very repetitive.

Need for Study

The need for improvement is not always apparent. However, following are some of the pointers which may indicate the area for study.

  1. Operating costs – Running higher than normal or gradually increasing
  2. High wastage – Poor use of materials, machinery, labour, space and services
  3. Excessive movement and backtracking ions, handling of materials and men
  4. Existence of production bottlenecks
  5. Excessive overtime
  6. Excessive rejections and reworks
  7. Complaints about quality
  8. Complaints from workers-poor working condition of heavy job etc.
  9. Increasing number of accidents-poor safety conditions.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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