Steps of gathering standard data in time study

Since we have discussed in the previous article about time study benefits and practices, the next step is to gather the standard data against which the operator rating, improvement plans, incentive schemes and other key points have to be decided. So in this article we will discuss how to gather the standard data.


  1. Before starting to take reading :
    1. Always discuss the operation to be timed with department supervisor to ensure maintaining his motivation level and feeling of importance.
    2. Before entering a department, it is advised to inform the department supervisor and make him understand be done there during study. Let the supervisor guide you to the worker being studied. This will ensure that the workers know that study is being done and is in the knowledge of their supervisor.
    3. Ask the supervisor to be with you and advice that the method that is being used is the correct prescribed method for the operation and the output is meeting the expected quality level
    4. while leaving, thank the supervisor for the time extended to you and assure him that the results of the time study will be informed to him.
    5. Decide if study is required.
    6. Decide the method that is going to be used i.e. Stopwatch, video etc.
    7. Make sure that the worker has been informed that the study is being done., and he knows the benefits of it.
    8. Do not start doing time study in a hastily manner without informing the worker and supervisor as it will lead to breakdown of credibility.
    9. Preferred watches are minute watches which are calibrated to hundredths of a minute. i.e. 15 seconds equals to 25/100ths of a minute.
    10. The operator to be studied should be qualified for the operation and performance rating should be as near to 100% as possible should be taken into consideration. Same method can be studied twice or thrice depending on the availability of eligible operator.
    11. Break the job into smallest possible element and then number them according to their sequence. Then take elemental reading.
  2. Interact with worker
    1. Explain the worker about the time study process and its benefits.
    2. Get the feedback on the method being used and if any suggestion for change.
    3. Clear any doubt if operators are having, in case.
    4. Identify the operators motivation to perform.
  3. Observe
    1. How to position yourself- To perform the time study, it is adviced that we should stand in such a position that workers both hands are visible and there is no visual, physical or psychological disturbances in performing the operation. Standing in the right or left side in back of operator at 1.5 feet is considered an optimum position. Standing gives the worker an psychological impression of an extra effort being made by the observer.
    2. Before starting the first observation of the day, note the timing from normal clock at a previously marked location on the sheet.
    3. The number of reading per operation should be pre decided according to the activity, degree of standardization and its importance.
    4. Note and record all the foreign and miscellaneous element
    5. A foreign element is a interruption in the normal work cycle. They are not included in normal elemental breakdown. They have to be noted separately. They are of two types:-
      1. Foreign elements happening between two regular element:- They are elements which comes into picture after finishing of an element and before start of next element. In this case the cause will be registered in short code i.e. BR for bobbin refilling. then at the end of page we have to mention all our foreign element timing separately.
      2. Foreign element happening in the middle of an element:- They are elements which occurs when an element is already in progress. In this type we note the time separately in remarks section then when we get opportunity ask the worker about the cause and mention it against the same recorded foreign element.
  4. Finalizing
    1. Complete the forms for the day with timing, observed rating and complementary remarks for operators.
    2. Circle out non representative ratings.
  5. Apply correct allowances
    1. Personal delay:- Personal delay allowances include personal timing such as rest room timing, relaxing between two operations, rubbing eyes etc.
    2. Fatigue allowances:- Fatigue allowances are introduced to level the work output during morning and evening hours where energy level goes depleting. The amount of allowance depends upon the climate and working condition of a particular factory.
    3. Machine and/or miscellaneous delay:- It includes downtime due to technical stoppage and delays apart from worker side.
    4. Bundle handling time:- It is also known as BHT. It is provided to nullify the time taken by a operator which occurred due to opening closing and passing of the bundle (Foreign element)
  6. Formulating:-
    1. Discuss with the workers about their present pay structure.
    2. Observe historical pay data
    3. Observe historical work data
  7. Applying
    1. Record standards.
    2. Inform supervisor about standard, discuss and take feedback.
    3. Let supervisor discuss the method and timing.
    4. Train and guide supervisor in maintaining the method applied.