Techniques of Scientific Management
Scientific management means the use of scientific methods to solve the problems of management. It is the art of knowing exactly what you want your employees to do, and seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest ways. It involves the study of each activity in detail and doing the work in such a manner so that work can be completed effectively and efficiently. F.W. Taylor laid the foundation of management as a science consisting of fundamental principles. He was the one who suggested the use of scientific methods of measurement and study for solving managerial problems. Therefore, F.W. Taylor is known as the father of scientific management.
Definition of Scientific Management
Scientific management is the art of knowing exactly what you want your men to do and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way. -F.W. Taylor
Scientific management is a conscious orderly human approach to the performance of management responsibilities as contrasted with the day-in and day-out rule of thumb, hit or miss approach. -Lawrence A. Appley
Techniques of Scientific Management
Techniques of scientific management mean the methods which help in the application of management. In order to implement principles of scientific management. Taylor suggested the following techniques:
1. Functional Foremanship:
According to this technique, the work of supervision is divided into several specialized foremen. Taylor believes that one foreman is not an expert in all aspects of work. Therefore, each worker should be supervised by several foremen. Those who are specialized in their field. This technique will improve the quality of supervision and will also improve the quality of work and efficiency of workers. Taylor suggested that 8 specialists out of these 4 will be responsible for looking after the planning work, and the other four will be responsible to supervise and executing of work.
- Route clerk: This foreman lays down the sequence of operation in which work is to be carried out. Workers are expected to do their work strictly according to the route sheet.
- Instruction card clerk: This foreman prepare the instruction card for the workers and the gang boss. These cards contain information about the nature of the work, the procedure of doing work, the material to be used, and detail about the machine.
- Time and cost clerk: This foreman fines the standard time for completion of work and he also keeps the record of the cost of operation.
- Disciplinarian: This clerk is responsible for maintaining discipline and systematic performance of the job. He enforces the rules and regulations in the organization.
- Speed boss: He is responsible for ensuring the work is done well on time. To get the work completed in time, he examines that all the workers are performing their job at the required speed.
- Gang boss: He is responsible for arranging and keeping tools, machines and materials ready for operation.
- Repair boss: He is responsible to ensure the proper working condition of the machine and tools.
- Inspector: He is responsible for the quality of work. He brings a quality consciousness to the mind of workers.
2. Standardization and simplification of work:
Standardization means fixing standards for everything. To attain standard production, the standard of performance is established for the workers. Standard of work means standard set for material, machine method, and condition of work. Simplification refers to eliminating unnecessary varieties, sizes, and grades of the product. It results in saving the cost of labour, cost of machines, and tools. It also brings economy in turnover and operation. It facilitates better control of activities.
Simplification aims at eliminating unnecessary varieties, sizes and dimensions. It results in saving the cost of labour, machines and tools. With the help of simplification, inventories are reduced and resources are fully utilised.
For example, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. reduced its variety of shops and increased effective and efficient results for the organization.
Work-study means systematic and critical assessment of all the operational functions in the organization. The main objective of the work-study is to improve efficiency by making optimum utilization of resources. Taylor believes that efficiency can be increased endlessly. He advised work-study to improve efficiency. He has divided his work-study into four parts:
- Method Study: It is a concern with finding ‘one best way’ of doing a job. The main aim of this technique is to improve work methods to minimize the cost of products and maximize the satisfaction of customers. The search for the best method starts from the procurement of raw materials and continues till the final product is delivered to the customer. For example, raw materials should be stored near the place of production to avoid unnecessary wastage of time and money in transporting goods to the place of production.
- Motion Study: This study refers to making a thorough analysis of various motions being performed by a worker while he is doing a particular job. The main purpose of motion study is to detect and eliminate unnecessary movement, and to find out the best method of doing a particular job. This study is conducted with a help of a movie camera or stopwatch. Taylor experimented with motion study, and he proved that the productivity of a worker can be increased to the extent of about four times, just by eliminating wasteful motion.
- Time Study: It is the technique that is used to determine the standard time taken by a worker. It helps in determining how much work an employee should be able to do in a given period. Under time study, the work is divided into a series of elements, and the time taken to perform each element of work. The method of time study depends on the volume and frequency of the work.
- Fatigue Study: It refers to determining the amount and frequency of rest intervals required in completing a work. Fatigue means tiredness from physical and mental work. Taylor suggested that a person gets tired when he works continuously without a break. So, he must be provided with a rest interval to regain his lost stamina. Fatigue study also helps in maintaining the operational efficiency of the worker. The amount and frequency of rest intervals should be decided through a fatigue study and not randomly. The fatigue study is conducted by observing workers while performing the job. It is also helpful to find out, how long a person can work without having any adverse effect on his health.
4. Differential price wage system:
This is a system in which efficient and inefficient workers are paid at different rates. According to Taylor, financial incentives act as a motivator. So, Taylor developed the concept of a differential piece wage system. In this technique, incentives are directly linked with productivity. Under this technique, first of all, a standard task is established, and then two rates are fixed. Higher rates for those workers who produce more than the standard, and a low rate for those workers who do not produce above or equal to the standard.
For example, in a factory, the standard output is 20 units per day. Workers producing more than standard output will get 5 rupees per unit, for producing less than the standard, they will get 4 rupees per unit, and for producing less than the standard output, they will get 3 rupees per unit. If a worker produces 22 units in a day, he will get (22x 5)=110 rupees; a worker producing 20 units will get (20×4)= 80 rupees; and if a worker produces 19 units, then he will get (19×3)=57. The difference between different units is enough to motivate the workers to perform better.
5. Mental Revolution:
It means a total change in the attitude of workers and management towards one another from competition to cooperation. Both should realize that they require one another, and both of them should aim to increase their profit. Mental revolution requires that management should create suitable working conditions, and they should do their work with full devotion.
Modern Techniques of Scientific Management:
1. Just in Time Manufacturing:
Just-in-time manufacturing is a strategy of inventory management. This is concerned with minimizing the stock of work in progress and the costs associated with these stocks. By reducing the work in progress the enterprise can improve its return on investment.
2. Lean Manufacturing:
Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of management that is related to reducing the seven wastes, i.e., wastes of overproduction, waiting for time, transportation, processing, motion, inventory, and a scrap of any type. These seven wastes can incur losses to an enterprise in various ways, such as wasting raw materials, manpower, electricity, transportation cost, etc. Reducing these wastes result in improvement of quality and contraction in production costs and time, which enhances the company’s performance and increases its profit.
Kaizen is a Japanese term that means ‘improvement’ or ‘change for the better’. It is a concept that refers to improvement in productivity. Kaizen main purpose is to cut out waste, standardize work, timely delivery, suitable and right size equipment, a better supply chain. etc.
It is a continuous activity which takes place routinely and helps in eliminating both mental and physical hard work and creates harmony in the organization or workplace. It instructs people on how to perform speedy experiments by encouraging them to use scientific methods in order to eliminate waste in all kinds of business organizations.
4. Six Sigma:
Six Sigma is a data-driven approach that helps an organization in reducing inefficiencies and in saving time and money by reducing ‘quality variations’. It provides enterprises with tools to enhance the capability of their business processes. This increases the performance of the organization and decreases the process variation. This helps to improve performance and increases the profits of an organization.
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