Worker at a Fixed Workplace
There are many jobs that require workers to remain at a specified workstation in order to complete their assigned tasks, This applies to both manufacturing and services. When the nature of the work is primarily manual (such as sorting, inspecting, making entries, or assembly operations l. the focus of work design is on simplifying the work method and making the required operator motions as few and as simple as possible. I The same concepts also apply to services. For example, a customer service representative at a call center is trained to ask specific questions in a given order so that a customer's inquiry is processed as efficiently as possible. With services, however, the issue is further complicated by the presence of the customer in the process. Here efficiency cannot be achieved at the expense of angering the customer, who may perceive an efficient operator as being curt or rude.
There are two basic ways to determine the best method for performing an essentially manual task. The first is to search among the various' workers performing that task and find the one who performs the job best. That person's method is then accepted as the standard, and the other workers are trained to perform it in the same way. This was basically F. W. Taylor's approach, The second method is to observe the performance of a number of workers, analyze in detail each step of their work, and pick out the superior features of each worker's performance, This results in a composite method that combines the best elements of the group studied. This was the procedure used by Frank Gilbreth, the father of motion study, to determine the "one best way" to perform a work task. Taylor observed actual performance
Taylor observed actual performance to find the best method: Frank Gilbreth and his wife Lillian relied on movie film, Through micromotion analysis-observing the filmed work performance frame by frame-the Gilbreths studied work very closely and defined its basic elements. which was termed therbligs ("Gilbreth" spelled backward. with the and posed), The: also used the motion model-a wire representation of the path of a motion. Their study led to the rules or principles of motion economy listed in Exhibit S lOA, Once the various motions for performing a task have been identified, an operations chart is then developed, listing the individual operations and their sequence of performance. For greater detail, a sima (simultaneous motion) chart may be constructed, listing not only the operations but also the times for both left and right hands. This chart may be as enabled from the data collected with a stopwatch, from analysis of a film of the operation. or from predetermined motion-time data (such as that developed by the Gilbreths and discussed later in the chapter), Many aspects of poor design become immediately obvious
with this technique-a hand being used as a holding device (rather than or fixture). an idle hand, or an exceptionally long time for positioning.