What is Work Study?
Work Study is the systemeatic examination of the methods of carrying out activities such as to improve the effective use of resources and to set up standards of performance for the activities carried out.
Components of Work Study Another definition of Work Study could be: A generic term for those techniques, particularly method study and work measurement, which are used in the examination of human work in all its contexts, and which lead systematically to to the investigation of all the factors which affect the efficiency and economy of the situation being reviewed, in order to effect improvement'.
This has to do with Productivity Improvement, but also improvement of Quality and Safety.
Operations Management - Work Study
Managing people within operations involves actual design decisions about jobs, methods, relationships between jobs and machines and systems of control and communication. Work design involves complex "people"
relationships between operative staff, supervisors and specialists e.g. engineering managers and staff who commission new machines and maintain them. Other specialists may co-ordinate health and safety systems or monitor performance and plan maintenance People are not mere extensions to machines or horsepower to be switched on and off. A worker's performance may be better than a machine's capability - yet a machine may outstrip the human being for many tasks. People can be hurt/injured physically by operating environments or trapped socially and psychologically in them/by them. How operational systems are designed and the jobs and performance relationships within them are of great operational, economic and social importance. In this context then work study is a collection of techniques used to examine work - what is done and how it is done - so that there is systematic analysis of all the elements, factors, resources and relationships affecting the efficiency and effectiveness of the work being studied. Considerable diplomacy and sensitivity is needed by the industrial engineer or operations manager who becomes involved in work study (or business process improvement) investigations. In the Path of F. W. Taylor Method study and work measurement are two principal activities of work study which originated in the work of F. W. Taylor (see Rose: 1978). FW's "scientific management" imperatives are: •
investigate the work situation and identify weaknesses - where and why is poor performance happening? The "scientific" title for this approach to management means placing emphasis on • data gathering and rational analysis • certain narrow assumptions about the objectivity of efficiency criteria • the existence of direct, deterministic relationships between worker performance and incentive payments and • consideration of the worker to some extent as a machine. Thus we can evaluate and introduce improvements in operating methods. This includes type of equipment, its use, layout of operations, supply and use of materials, materials handling, work organisation, effectiveness of planning procedures and so on.
Productivity improvement is the aim.
we can select staff with characteristics that fit the job, train and reward them using payment schemes the offer particular economic incentive by linking payment to measured performance.
Such propositions are commonly the stuff of managerial populists and "how-to" texts on human resource management.
Methods study Approach
- is an analysis of ways of doing work. The memonic SREDIM (a common-sense heuristic or general problemsolving strategy) represents the method study stages 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. select the tasks to study record the facts about it examine these develop a new method install/implement it maintain it
- involves assessing the time a job should take to do. Similar steps are involved as to method study 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. select the tasks record the facts analyse them calculate basic...
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