Techniques of scientific management propounded by Taylor are: 1. Functional Foremanship 2. Standardization and Simplification of Work 3. Work Study 4. Differential Piece Wage System!
1. Functional Foremanship:
A foreman belongs to operational management and is the highest ranking worker.
He is the centre around whom the entire production planning, implementation and control revolve. Thus, it becomes very essential to improve his performance.
Functional foremanship ( Fig.2.2 ) is the extension of the principle of specialization. In this technique, Taylor suggested separation of planning and execution functions. According to him, foreman should be intelligent, educated, tactful, and should possess special knowledge, manual dexterity, energy and good health.
Since it is very difficult to find all these qualities in a single person, so he suggested that under factory manager there should be planning incharge and production incharge. Under Planning Incharge, he placed four personnel namely instruction card clerk, route clerk, time and cost clerk and disciplinarian while under Production Incharge, four personnel namely speed boss, gang boss, repairs boss and inspector were placed.
In other words, in order to improve the quality of the supervision of workers at the supervisor level, Taylor developed the concept of functional foremanship. In this technique, a worker is supervised by several specialists.
A. Planning Incharge:
The main function of ‘Planning Incharge’ is to plan all aspects of a job to be performed.
It consists of four positions:
(i) Instruction Card Clerk:
The main function of instruction card clerk is to draft the instructions according to which workers have to perform their jobs.
(ii) Route Clerk:
The route clerk specifies route of production i.e. sequence to perform various mechanical and manual operations. He also decides the job to be done for the day & where it is to be done.
(iii) Time and Cost Clerk:
Time and Cost Clerk fixes the time for starting and completing the work and prepares the cost sheet for each job.
He is responsible to ensure discipline in the work place. He is concerned with the coordination in each job from planning to successful execution. He enforces rules and regulations and maintains discipline.
B. Production Incharge:
The main function of ‘Production Incharge’ is to get the work executed as per plans.
It consists of four positions:
(i) Speed Boss:
He is responsible for timely and accurate completion of job. He checks whether work is progressing as per schedule.
(ii) Gang Boss:
Gang Boss is responsible for keeping machines and tools etc. ready for operation by workers so that there is no delay.
(iii) Repairs Boss:
Repair Boss ensures proper working conditions of machines and tools.
He ensures that the work is done as per the standards of quality of work set out by planning department.
2. Standardization and Simplification of Work:
According to Taylor, various methods of production, prevalent under the rule of thumb, should be analysed. Out of those, the best practice should be retained and further refined so that a standard can be developed, and applied to the whole organisation. To achieve this, different work study techniques viz., time study, motion study, fatigue study and method study can be applied.
Standardisation is the process of setting standards for different factors. Standards can be set for process, raw material, time, product, methods, or working conditions. It uses standard equipments, methods and processes in order to maximize the output keeping in mind the quality standards. It helps in establishing the norms for sizes, types, height etc.
For example, Colgate has been following this principle and perhaps that may be the major reason for its continuance as market leader for decades inspite of cutthroat competition. These standards are the benchmarks and must be followed during production without fail.
The main objectives of setting standards are:
(a) To produce products of same types, sizes and characteristics.
(b) To provide for interchangeability of manufactured parts and products.
(c) To set up standards of excellence and quality in material.
(d) To set up standards of performance of men and machines.
Simplification refers to the elimination of unwanted varieties, sizes, products and dimensions. In other words, simplification means optimum utilization of resources viz men, machine and material through uninterrupted runs and fewer machine stoppages. It aims at discarding unnecessary diversity of products. It helps in reducing labour, machines and tools. Thus implying reduced stock, fuller utilization of tools/equipments and increased sales. Nokia, Microsoft etc. have implemented standardization and simplification in their working which can be evidenced from their large share in their respective markets.
3. Work Study:
Work study is a systematic, objective oriented, analytical and critical assessment of the performance of workers in various operations in a workshop.
Its various aspects are:
(A) Method study
(B) Motion study
(C) Time study
(D) Fatigue study
A. Method Study:
There are various methods for completing any job. For judging the best method, there are several parameters. The main objective of this technique is to find out the best way or at least one of the best methods of doing a particular job in order to minimize the cost of production and maximize the quality and satisfaction of the customer. In the same manner, it needs to be checked that there are no unnecessary activities in the production process.
Taylor used this technique in devising the concept of assembly line. For example, for designing a scooter, assembly line would require deciding the sequence of operations, place for men, machine and raw materials etc. The method should not be decided by rule of thumb. Instead, after trying all methods, the method that gives best results with minimum cost should be adopted.
B. Motion Study:
Motion study refers to the study of various movements, like sitting, standing, holding, turning, changing position etc., of workers, while performing a particular job. The main objective of this study is to identify the motions which are productive, incidental and unproductive. This study helps in eliminating the unnecessary movements as to complete a given task in less time thereby increasing the efficiency.
It is a scientific technique which involves close observations of the movements of the body and limbs while performing a job and helps as follows:
(i) It eliminates unnecessary motions and finds out the best method of doing a particular job.
(ii) It increases the efficiency of workers by reducing their wasteful movements and hence fatigue during a job.
C. Time Study:
Time study determines the standard time taken by a workman to perform a given task. The standard time is fixed by taking several readings of a specific task. Its purpose is to decide how much time is normally required by the workers to perform a certain job and thus to determine the number of workers to be employed for a fair day’s work.
It also helps in calculating labour costs and framing suitable incentive schemes. The time taken in doing a task is assigned to a worker by using time measuring devices such as stop watch etc. The movement which takes minimum time is the best and every worker is expected to follow the same movement.
Thus, time study as a technique of management serves the following purposes:
(i) To decide how much time is normally required to perform a certain job.
(ii) To determine a fair day’s work for the workmen.
(iii) To determine the number of workers to be employed.
(iv) To frame suitable incentive schemes.
For example, on the basis of several readings it is determined that standard time taken by a worker to make 100 pencils is 15 minutes. So in one hour, a worker will make 400 pencils. Assuming a worker works for 8 hours in a shift and after deducting one hour for rest and lunch it is determined that in 7 hours a worker will make 2,800 pencils i.e. 400 pencils per hour. Thus, this is the fair day’s work standard for a worker.
D. Fatigue Study:
It is human tendency that a person feels physically and mentally tired if she/ he is made to work continuously without any rest. The rest period enables one to regain the stamina and to work again with same capacity.
Fatigue study intends to find out the number and frequency of rest intervals that must be provided to a worker in completing a job efficiently. Workers cannot work at a stretch. After putting in work for a certain period of time they feel tired which affects their performance. If they are allowed rest intervals, they will regain their stamina and will resume their work with greater energy. For example, if workers are involved in heavy manual labour such as brick layering or poor working conditions then small pauses must be given to them to reenergise them and after each interval they resume their work with greater enthusiasm.
4. Differential Piece Wage System:
Differential piece rate system is a system of wages’ payment in which efficient and inefficient workers are paid at different rates. Taylor has suggested two types of wages for similar work. Higher wages for efficient workers & lower wages for inefficient workers. Taylor classified the workers as efficient or inefficient on the basis of their performance.
Workers who perform upto or above the standards set for them are regarded as ‘efficient’. On the other hand, ‘inefficient’ workers are ones who perform below the standard. Accordingly, a worker producing equal to or more than the fair day’s work is considered as efficient worker and is paid at a higher rate and worker producing less than the fair day’s work is considered as inefficient worker and is paid at a lower rate.
For example, Narmada Ltd. gives Rs. 2 per piece if in one day 25 or more units are produced and Rs. 1.50 per unit if in one day less than 25 units are produced. A worker who is producing 24 units will get Rs.36 (24×1.50) whereas a worker producing 25 units will get Rs. 50 (25×2). So he will be motivated to produce at least 25 units because failure to meet target by just one unit will result in loss of Rs. 14 for him.
Wage Rate (Rs.)
1. It discriminates between efficient and inefficient workers
2. Reward efficient workers.
3. Penalise inefficient worker
4. Motivate the workers towards higher productivity.
While introducing this system in any organisation, efforts should be made in such a way that efficiency becomes the result of the joint efforts of the managers and workers. Instead of being jealous or quarrelling over the share in the resultant surplus, the managers and workers should work in harmony for maximizing the output rather than restricting it.