However, the work efficiency survey can be quite an issue for the employer. Poorly organized may be seen as an attempt to over-interfere with the employee’s comfort zone. Therefore, such a study should be conducted by external experts, experienced in using proven research tools.
The aim of the chronometer is to determine the optimal time for a given activity under specific conditions and by employees with specific competences. The measurements may concern both cyclical and non-cyclical activities. Chronometry is used primarily in determining the normal working time.
Photograph of the working day
The daytime photograph is taken mainly to analyze the effectiveness of employees, but it can also be used to examine the competence of employees and the effectiveness of information flow.
The effectiveness of employees’ work as a ratio of the time spent on their work, resulting from organizational assumptions, to the time actually used in certain conditions can be measured using snapshot tests. The project of analysis and improvement of work efficiency is based on the methodology developed by LUQAM, which works well both in office work and on the production hall.
The shutter test measures 3 key parameters:
• The load of key tasks – i.e. tasks whose implementation defines the sense of the existence of a given workstation (e.g. processing applications and issuing permits, operating the machine, etc.),
• load of additional tasks – i.e. tasks which are general and concern the majority of employees (e.g. monthly meetings) or are carried out outside the main stream of tasks (e.g. training a new employee),
• The burden of productive tasks– e. tasks that add value to the organization (these are key tasks, additional tasks and others considered productive).
A complementary element to the snapshot research can be a position audit consisting of examining reference documents defining the purpose and scope of work on a given position (job descriptions, job cards, extracts from contracts, competence and skills matrices, etc.) and comparing them with the existing state. The audit is supplemented by a commentary on information flow and delegation of tasks, responsibilities and powers. All these activities allow to assess the effectiveness of employees.
Shuttering tests combined with muda hunting allow to answer the following questions based on a statistical sample:
How much time do standard activities take up for employees?
• Do the employees take care of the activities assigned to their workstation?
• Are there any unplanned breaks at work?
• Do employees only deal with tasks related to their professional work?
• What influences the detachment of employees from the most important tasks?
Obtained data are interpreted from the statistical and optimization point of view, and conclusions drawn from them allow for a jump in work efficiency improvement. The report also contains proposals for solutions concerning workplace organization.
In industrial projects, when it is necessary to calculate the optimal number of employees or when it is necessary to optimize / reduce the number of employees, the use of a simulator is proven.
The simulator’s capabilities allow to count many production and financial indicators very precisely and show in real time how a given change can affect e.g. previously calculated Technical Cost of Manufacturing, cycle time, WIP, productivity, workload of a given employee etc.
The unquestionable advantage of the simulator is the fact that it is based on advanced algorithms that allow counting data that would be almost impossible to count manually, as well as the fact that once created simulation can be used for subsequent tests whenever such a need arises. What is more, the simulation itself will “tell” which solution is optimal at a given moment, which, combined with the experience of consultants and simulation architects realizing the project, makes it possible to make decisions on the basis of numbers, data and facts, with an additional element of substantive support provided by people realizing savings projects on a daily basis.