The procedure of method study is contained in the following steps:- 1. Select 2. Obtain and Record 3. Examine 4. Develop 5. Install 6. Maintain.
Step # 1. Select:
The first step of method study is to select a job, activity or process to improve. Basically, any activity is a potential project for improvement but as the method engineer is to sell his ideas and maintain his existence in his company, he have to select those jobs for improvement which are unpopular or considered “dirty’ by employees.
In general, there are three main considerations in the selection of jobs:
(b) Economic, and
Step # 2. Obtain and Record:
Obtain the facts about the existing methods related to the job and record it. In order to improve it the facts involved must be collected in detail so as to make them available for analysis. A series of standardized techniques (diagrams, charts, graphs, models etc.) are available, which may be used for this purpose.
The choice of a technique depends on the type of information which is to be recorded. This is very important step, as the success of improving the existing method or developing a new method often depends on how exactly the facts about the existing methods are recorded.
Step # 3. Examine:
Examine the facts critically. This is a very important step in whole study. It is concerned with questioning the different activities of the process in a systematic, logical and objective manner.
The questioning sequence follows a well-established pattern which examine the purpose for which, the place at which, the sequence in which, the person by whom and the means by which each activity is undertaken with a view to eliminate, simplify, combine, and rearrange the various elements of work for improving the work method.
Step # 4. Develop:
The next step of method study is to develop the improved method. The analysis of existing work method provides a starting point for a synthesis of suggested improvements in job performance. Alternative possibilities are evaluated and the best alternative is selected for use.
The process of evaluation generally proceeds as under:
(i) Select specific criteria quantifiable and unquantifiable ones.
(ii) Predict performance of each alternative with respect to these criteria.
(iii) Convert these estimates to monetary terms.
(iv) Compare alternatives on the basis of all the criteria.
(v) Select the preferred alternative.
In so many cases, it may be desirable to develop two or more improved methods, of which some may be conservative and others may be radical.
Step # 5. Install:
Install the improved method. This involves training of those who are going to perform the new method. Cooperation from both supervisors and workers is essential for successful installation of new method.
Their previous participation in some or all of the earlier steps maximises the chances that the new method will be successfully introduced. The trail or pilot runs may be carried out during which minor modifications may be made to facilitate working. It is a good practice for work-study man to be present on the shop floor when the new method is being installed.
Step # 6. Maintain:
The last step in method study is to maintain the improved method. Even when the operators have been trained and changes in equipment and layout have been incorporated, there is no guarantee that the method will be used the way it was designed. There is therefore, need for method engineer to follow up the new method by regular check-up and discussion with the persons concerned.