Frederick Winslow Taylor (1903)
Source: Scientific Management, comprising Shop Management, The Principles of Scientific Management and Testimony Before the Special House Committee, by Frederick Winslow Taylor, Harper & Row, 1911;
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[p. 63] Modern engineering can almost be called an exact science; each year removes it further from guess work and from rule-of-thumb methods and establishes it more firmly upon the foundation of fixed principles.
The writer feels that management is also destined to become more of an art, and that many of the elements which are now believed to be outside the field of exact knowledge will soon be standardized, tabulated, accepted, and used, as are now many of the elements of engineering. Management will be studied as an art and will rest upon well recognized, clearly defined, and fixed principles instead of depending upon more or less hazy ideas received from a limited observation of the few organizations with which the individual may have come in contact, There will, of course, be various successful types, and the application of the underlying principles must be modified to suit each particular case. The writer has already indicated that he thinks the first object in management is to unite high wages with a low labor cost. He believes that this object can be most easily attained by the application of the following principles:
(a) A LARGE DAILY TASK. — Each man in the establishment, high or low, should daily have a clearly defined task laid out before him. This task should not in the least degree be vague nor indefinite, but should be circumscribed carefully and completely, and should not be easy to accomplish.
(b) STANDARD CONDITIONS. — Each man’s task should call for a full day’s work, and at the same time the workman should be given such standardized conditions and appliances as will enable him to accomplish his task with certainty.
(c) HIGH PAY FOR SUCCESS. — He should be sure of large pay when he accomplishes his task.
(d) LOSS IN CASE OF FAILURE. — When he fails he should be sure that sooner or later he will be the loser by it.
When an establishment has reached an advanced state of organization, in many cases a fifth element should be added, namely: the task should be made so difficult that it can only be accomplished by a first-class man.
There is nothing new nor startling about any of these principles and yet it will be difficult to find a shop in which they are not daily violated over and over again. They call, however, for a greater departure from the ordinary types of organization than would at first appear. In the case, for instance, of a machine shop doing miscellaneous work, in order to assign daily to each man a carefully measured task, a special planning department is required to lay out all of the work at least one day ahead. All orders must be given to the men in detail in writing; and in order to lay out the next day’s work and plan the entire progress of work through the shop, daily returns must be made by the men to the planning department in writing, showing just what has been done. Before each casting or forging arrives in the shop the exact route which it is to take from machine to machine should be laid out. An instruction card for each operation must be written out stating in detail just how each operation on every piece of work is to be done and the time required to do it, the drawing number, any special tools, jigs, or appliances required, etc. Before the four principles above referred to can be successfully applied it is also necessary in most shops to make important physical changes. All of the small details in the shop, which are usually regarded as of little importance and are left to be regulated according to the individual taste of the workman, or, at best, of the foreman, must be thoroughly and carefully standardized; such details, for instance, as the care and tightening of the belts; the exact shape and quality of each cutting tool; the establishment of a complete tool room from which properly ground tools, as well as jigs, templets, drawings, etc., are issued under a good cheek system, etc.; and as a matter of importance (in fact, as the foundation of scientific management) an accurate study of unit times must be made by one or more men connected with the planning department, and each machine tool must be standardized and a table or slide rule constructed for it showing how to run it to the best advantage.
At first view the running of a planning department, together with the other innovations, would appear to involve a large amount of additional work and expense, and the most natural question would be is whether the increased efficiency of the shop more than offsets this outlay? It must be borne in mind, however, that, with the exception of the study of unit times, there is hardly a single item of work done in the planning department which is not already being done in the shop. Establishing a planning department merely concentrates the planning and much other brainwork in a few men especially fitted for their task and trained in their especial lines, instead of having it done, as heretofore, in most cases by high priced mechanics, well fitted to work at their trades, but poorly trained for work more or less clerical in its nature.
There is a close analogy between the methods of modern engineering and this type of management. Engineering now centers in the drafting room as modern management does in the planning department. The new style engineering has all the appearance of complication and extravagance, with its multitude of drawings; the amount of study and work which is put into each detail; and its corps of draftsmen, all of whom would be sneered at by the old engineer as “non-producers.” For the same reason, modern management, with its minute time study and a managing department in which each operation is carefully planned, with its many written orders and its apparent red tape, looks like a waste of money; while the ordinary management in which the planning is mainly done by the workmen themselves, with the help of one or two foremen, seems simple and economical in the extreme.
The writer, however, while still a young man, had all lingering doubt as to the value of a drafting room dispelled by seeing the chief engineer, the foreman of the machine shop, the foreman of the foundry, and one or two workmen, in one of our large and successful engineering establishments of the old school, stand over the cylinder of an engine which was being built, with chalk and dividers, and discuss for more than an hour the proper size and location of the studs for fastening on the cylinder head. This was simplicity, but not economy. About the same time he became thoroughly convinced of the necessity and economy of a planning department with time study, and with written instruction cards and returns. He saw over and over again a workman shut down his machine and hunt up the foreman to inquire, perhaps, what work to put into his machine next, and then chase around the shop to find it or to have a special tool or templet looked up or made. He saw workmen carefully nursing their jobs by the hour and doing next to nothing to avoid making a record, and he was even more forcibly convinced of the necessity for a change while he was still working as a machinist by being ordered by the other men to slow down to half speed under penalty of being thrown over the fence.
No one now doubts the economy of the drafting room, and the writer predicts that in a very few years from now no one will doubt the economy and necessity of the study of unit times and of the planning department.
Another point of analogy between modern engineering and modern management lies in the fact that modern engineering proceeds with comparative certainty to the design and construction of a machine or structure of the maximum efficiency with the minimum weight and cost of materials, while the old style engineering at best only approximated these results and then only after a series of breakdowns, involving the practical reconstruction of the machine and the lapse of a long period of time. The ordinary system of management, owing to the lack of exact information and precise methods, can only approximate to the desired standard of high wages accompanied by low labor cost and then only slowly, with marked irregularity in results, with continued opposition, and, in many cases, with danger from strikes. Modern management, on the other hand, proceeds slowly at first, but with directness and precision, step by step, and, after the first few object lessons, almost without opposition on the part of the men, to high wages and low labor cost; and as is of great importance, it assigns wages to the men which are uniformly fair. They are not demoralized, and their sense of justice offended by receiving wages which are sometimes too low and at other times entirely too high.
One of the marked advantages of scientific management lies in its freedom from strikes. The writer has never been opposed by a strike, although he has been engaged for a great part of his time since 1883 in introducing this type of management in different parts of the country and in a great variety of industries. The only case of which the writer can think in which a strike under this system might be unavoidable would be that in which most of the employees were members of a labor union, and of a union whose rules were so inflexible and whose members were so stubborn that they were unwilling to try any other system, even though it assured them larger wages than their own. The writer has seen, however, several times after the introduction of this system, the members of labor unions who were working under it leave the union in large numbers because they found that they could do better under the operation of the system than under the laws of the union.
There is no question that the average individual accomplishes the most when he either gives himself, or some one else assigns him, a definite task, namely, a given amount of work which he must do within a given time; and the more elementary the mind and character of the individual the more necessary does it become that each task shall extend over a short period of time only. No school teacher would think of telling children in a general way to study a certain book or subject. It is practically universal to assign each day a definite lesson beginning on one specified page and line and ending on another; and the best progress is made when the conditions are such that a definite study hour or period can be assigned in which the lesson must be learned. Most of us remain, through a great part of our lives, in this respect, grown-up children, and do our best only under pressure of a task of comparatively short duration.
[p. 111] The following are the leading functions of the planning department:
(a) The complete analysis of all orders for machines or work taken by the company.
(b) Time study for all work done by hand throughout the works, including that done in setting the work in machines, and all bench, vise work and transportation, etc.
(c) Time study for all operations done by the various machines.
(d) The balance of all materials, raw materials, stores and finished parts, and the balance of the work ahead for each class of machines and workmen.
(e) The analysis of all inquiries for new work received in the sales department and promises for time of delivery.
(f) The cost of all items manufactured with complete expense analysis and complete monthly comparative cost and expense exhibits.
(g) The pay department.
(h) The mnemonic symbol system for identification of parts and for charges.
(i) Information bureau.
(k) Maintenance of system and plant, and use of the tickler.
(1) Messenger system and post office delivery.
(m) Employment bureau.
(n) Shop disciplinarian.
(o) A mutual accident insurance association.
(p) Rush order department.
(q) Improvement of system or plant.
[p. 120] The type of organization described in the foregoing paragraphs has such an appearance of complication and there are so many new positions outlined in the planning room which do not exist even in a well managed establishment of the old school, that it seems desirable to again call attention to the fact that, with the exception of the study of unit times and one or two minor functions, each item of work which is performed in the planning room with the superficial appearance of great complication must also be performed by the workmen in the shop under the old type of management, with its single cheap foreman and the appearance of great simplicity. In the first case, however, the work is done by an especially trained body of men who work together like a smoothly running machine, and in the second by a much larger number of men very poorly trained and ill-fitted for this work, and each of whom while doing it is taken away from some other job for which he is well trained. The work which is now done by one sewing machine, intricate in its appearance, was formerly done by a number of women with no apparatus beyond a simple needle and thread.
There is no question that the cost of production is lowered by separating the work of planning and the brain work as much as possible from the manual labor. When this is done, however, it is evident that the brain workers must be given sufficient work to keep them fully busy all the time. They must not be allowed to stand around for a considerable part of their time waiting for their particular kind of work to come along, as is so frequently the case.
The belief is almost universal among manufacturers that for economy the number of brain workers, or non-producers, as they are called, should be as small as possible in proportion to the number of producers, i.e., those who actually work with their hands. An examination of the most successful establishments will, however, show that the reverse is true. A number of years ago the writer made a careful study of the proportion of producers to non-producers in three of the largest and most successful companies in the world, who were engaged in doing the same work in a general way. One of these companies was in France, one in Germany, and one in the United States. Being to a certain extent rivals in business and situated in different countries, naturally neither one had anything to do with the management of the other. In the course of his investigation, the writer found that the managers had never even taken the trouble to ascertain the exact proportion of non-producers to producers in their respective works; so that the organization of each company was an entirely independent evolution.
By “non-producers” the writer means such employee’s as all of the general officers, the clerks, foremen, gang bosses, watchmen, messenger boys, draftsmen, salesmen, etc.; and by “producers,” only those who actually work with their hands.'
In the French and German works there was found to be in each case one non-producer to between six and seven producers, and in the American works one non-producer to about seven producers. The writer found that in the case of another works, doing the same kind of business and whose management was notoriously bad, the proportion of non-producers to producers was one non-producer to about eleven producers. These companies all had large forges, foundries, rolling mills and machine shops turning out a miscellaneous product, much of which was machined. They turned out a highly wrought, elaborate and exact finished product, and did an extensive engineering and miscellaneous machine construction business.
In the case of a company doing a manufacturing business with a uniform and simple product for the maximum economy, the number of producers to each non-producer would of course be larger. No manager need feel alarmed then when he sees the number of non-producers increasing in proportion to producers, providing the non-producers are busy all of their time, and providing, of course, that in each case they are doing efficient work.
It would seem almost unnecessary to dwell upon the desirability of standardizing, not only all of the tools, appliances and implements throughout the works and office, but also the methods to be used in the multitude of small operations which are repeated day after day. There are many good managers of the old school, however, who feel that this standardization is not only unnecessary but that it is undesirable, their principal reason being that it is better to allow each workman to develop his individuality by choosing the particular implements and methods which suit him best. And there is considerable weight in this contention when the scheme of management is to allow each workman to do the work as he pleases and hold him responsible for results. Unfortunately, in ninety-nine out of a hundred such cases only the first part of this plan is carried out. The workman chooses his own methods and implements, but is not held in any strict sense accountable unless the quality of the work is so poor or the quantity turned out is so small as to almost amount to a scandal. In the type of management advocated by the writer, this complete standardization of all details and methods is not only desirable but absolutely indispensable as a preliminary to specifying the time in which each operation shall be done, and then insisting that it shall be done within the time allowed.
Neglecting to take the time and trouble to thoroughly standardize all of such methods and details is one of the chief causes for setbacks and failure in introducing this system.
[p. 137] Through generations of bitter experiences working men as a class have learned to look upon all change as antagonistic to their best interests. They do not ask the object of the change, but oppose it simply as change. The first changes, therefore, should be such as to allay the suspicions of the men and convince them by actual contact that the reforms are after all rather harmless and are only such as will ultimately be of benefit to all concerned. Such improvements then as directly affect the workmen least should be started first. At the same time it must be remembered that the whole operation is of necessity so slow that the new system should be started at as many points as possible, and constantly pushed as hard as possible. In the metal working plant which we are using for purposes of illustration a start can be made at once along all of the following lines:
First. The introduction of standards throughout the works and office.
Second. The scientific study of unit times on several different kinds of work.
Third. A complete analysis of the pulling, feeding power and the proper speeding of the various machine tools throughout the place with a view of making a slide rule for properly running each machine.
Fourth. The work of establishing the system of time cards by means of which ultimately all of the desired information will be conveyed from the men to the planning room.
Fifth. Overhauling the stores issuing and receiving system so as to establish a complete running balance of materials.
Sixth. Ruling and printing the various blanks that will be required for shop returns and reports, time cards, instruction cards, expense sheets, cost sheets, pay sheet, and balance records; storeroom; tickler; and maintenance of standards, system, and plant, etc.; and starting such functions of the planning room as do not directly affect the men.
If the works is a large one, the man in charge of introducing the system should appoint a special assistant in charge of each of the above functions just as an engineer designing a new plant would start a number of draftsmen to work upon the various elements of construction. Several of these assistants will be brought into close contact with the men, who will in this way gradually get used to seeing changes going on and their suspicion, both of the new men and the methods, will have been allayed to such an extent before any changes which seriously affect them are made, that little or no determined opposition on their part need be anticipated. The most important and difficult task of the organizer will be that of selecting and training the various functional foremen who are to lead and instruct the workmen, and his success will be measured principally by his ability to mold and reach these men. They cannot be found, they must be made. They must be instructed in their new functions largely, in the beginning at least, by the organizer himself; and this instruction, to be effective, should be mainly in actually doing the work. Explanation and theory will go a little way, but actual doing is needed to carry conviction. To illustrate: For nearly two and one-half years in the large shop of the Bethlehem Steel Company, one speed boss after another was instructed in the art of cutting metals fast on a large motor-driven lathe which was especially fitted to run at any desired speed within a very wide range. The work done in this machine was entirely connected, either with the study of cutting tools or the instruction of speed bosses. It was most interesting to see these men, principally either former gang bosses or the best workmen, gradually change from their attitude of determined and positive opposition to that in most cases of enthusiasm for, and earnest support of, the new methods. It was actually running the lathe themselves according to the new method and under the most positive and definite orders that produced the effect. The writer himself ran the lathe and instructed the first few bosses. It required from three weeks to two months for each man. Perhaps the most important part of the gang boss’s and foreman’s education lies in teaching them to promptly obey orders and instructions received not only from the superintendent or some official high in the company, but from any member of the planning room whose especial function it is to direct the rest of the works in his particular line; and it may be accepted as an unquestioned fact that no gang boss is fit to direct his men until after he has learned to promptly obey instructions received from any proper source, whether he likes his instructions and the instructor or not, and even although he may be convinced that he knows a much better way of doing the work. The first step is for each man to learn to obey the laws as they exist, and next, if the laws are wrong, to have them reformed in the proper way.
In starting to organize even a comparatively small shop, containing say from 75 to 100 men, it is best to begin by training in the full number of functional foremen, one for each function, since it must be remembered that about two out of three of those who are taught this work either leave of their own accord or prove unsatisfactory; and in addition, while both the workmen and bosses are adjusting themselves to their new duties, there are needed fully twice the number of bosses as are required to carry on the work after it is fully systematized.
Unfortunately, there is no means of selecting in advance those out of a number of candidates for a given work who are likely to prove successful. Many of those who appear to have all of the desired qualities, and who talk and appear the best, will turn out utter failures, while on the other hand, some of the most unlikely men rise to the top. The fact is, that the more attractive qualities of good manners, education, and even special training and skill, which are more apparent on the surface, count for less in an executive position than the grit, determination and bulldog endurance and tenacity that knows no defeat and comes up smiling to be knocked down over and over again.
The two qualities which count most for success in this kind of executive work are grit and what may be called “ constructive imagination “ — the faculty which enables a man to use the few facts that are stored in his mind in getting around the obstacles that oppose him, and in building up something useful in spite of them; and unfortunately, the presence of these qualities, together with honesty and common sense, can only be proved through an actual trial at executive work. As we all know, success at college or in the technical school does not indicate the presence of these qualities, even though the man may have worked hard. Mainly, it would seem, because the work of obtaining an education is principally that of absorption and assimilation; while that of active practical life is principally the direct reverse, namely, that of giving out.
In selecting men to be tried as foremen, or in fact for any position throughout the place, from the day laborer up, one of two different types of men should be chosen, according to the nature of the work to be done. For one class of work, men should be selected who are too good for the job; and for the other class of work, men who are barely good enough.
If the work is of a routine nature, in which the same operations are likely to be done over and over again, with no great variety, and in which there is no apparent prospect of a radical change being made, perhaps through a term of years, even though the work itself may be complicated in its nature, a man should be selected whose abilities are barely equal to the task. Time and training will fit him for his work, and since he will be better paid than in the past, and will realize that he has been given the chance to make his abilities yield him the largest return — all of the elements for promoting contentment will be present; and those men who are blessed with cheerful dispositions will become satisfied and remain so. Of course, a considerable part of mankind is so born or educated that permanent contentment is out of the question. No one, however, should be influenced by the discontent of this class.
On the other hand, if the work to be done is of great variety — particularly if improvements in methods are to be anticipated — throughout the period of active organization the men engaged in systematizing should be too good for their jobs. For such work, men should be selected whose mental caliber and attainments will fit them, ultimately at least, to command higher wages than can be afforded on the work which they are at. It will prove a wise policy to promote such men both to better positions and pay, when they have shown themselves capable of accomplishing results and the opportunity offers. The results which these high-class men will accomplish, and the comparatively short time which they will take in organizing, will much more than pay for the expense and trouble, later on, of training other men, cheaper and of less capacity, to take their places. In many cases, however, gang bosses and men will develop faster than new positions open for them. When this occurs, it will pay employers well to find them positions in other works, either with better pay, or larger opportunities; not only as a matter of kindly feeling and generosity toward their men, but even more with the object of promoting the best interests of their own establishments. For one man lost in this way, five will be stimulated to work to the very limit of their abilities, and will rise ultimately to take the place of the man who has gone, and the best class of men will apply for work where these methods prevail. But few employers, however, are sufficiently broad-minded to adopt this policy. They dread the trouble and temporary inconvenience incident to training in new men.
Mr. James M. Dodge, Chairman of the Board of the Link-Belt Company, is one of the few men with whom the writer is acquainted who has been led by his kindly instincts, as well as by a far-sighted policy, to treat his employees in this way; and this, together with the personal magnetism and influence which belong to men of his type, has done much to render his shop one of the model establishments of the country, certainly as far as the relations of employer and men are concerned. On the other hand, this policy of promoting men and finding them new positions has its limits. No worse mistake can be made than that of allowing an establishment to be looked upon as a training school, to be used mainly for the education of many of its employees. All employees should bear in mind that each shop exists, first, last, and all the time, for the purpose of paying dividends to its owners. They should have patience, and never lose sight of this fact. And no man should expect promotion until after he has trained his successor to take his place. The writer is quite sure that in his own case, as a young man, no one element was of such assistance to him in obtaining new opportunities as the practice of invariably training another man to fill his position before asking for advancement.
The first of the functional foremen to be brought into actual contact with the men should be the inspector; and the whole system of inspection, with its proper safeguards, should be in smooth and successful operation before any steps are taken toward stimulating the men to a larger output; otherwise an increase in quantity will probably be accompanied by a falling off in quality.
Next choose for the application of the two principal functional foremen, viz., the speed boss and the gang boss, that portion of the work in which there is the largest need of, and opportunity for, making a gain. It is of the utmost importance that the first combined application of time study, slide rules, instruction cards, functional foremanship, and a premium for a large daily task should prove a success both for the workmen and for the company, and for this reason a simple class of work should be chosen for a start. The entire efforts of the new management should be centered on one point, and continue there until unqualified success has been attained.
When once this gain has been made, a peg should be put in which shall keep it from sliding back in the least; and it is here that the task idea with a time limit for each job will be found most useful. Under ordinary piece work, or the Towne-Halsey plan, the men are likely at any time to slide back a considerable distance without having it particularly noticed either by them or the management. With the task idea, the first falling off is instantly felt by the workman through the loss of his day’s bonus, or his differential rate, and is thereby also forcibly brought to the attention of the management.
There is one rather natural difficulty which arises when the functional foremanship is first introduced. Men who were formerly either gang bosses, or foremen, are usually chosen as functional foremen, and these men, when they find their duties restricted to their particular functions, while they formerly were called upon to do everything, at first feel dissatisfied. They think that their field of usefulness is being greatly contracted. This is, however, a theoretical difficulty, which disappears when they really get into the full swing of their new positions. In fact the new position demands an amount of special information, forethought, and a clear-cut, definite responsibility that they have never even approximated in the past, and which is amply sufficient to keep all of their best faculties and energies alive and fully occupied. It is the experience of the writer that there is a great commercial demand for men with this sort of definite knowledge, who are used to accepting real responsibility and getting results; so that the training in their new duties renders them more instead of less valuable.
As a rule, the writer has found that those who were growling the most, and were loudest in asserting that they ought to be doing the whole thing, were only one-half or one-quarter performing their own particular functions. This desire to do every one’s else work in addition to their own generally disappears when they are held to strict account in their particular line, and are given enough work to keep them hustling.
There are many people who will disapprove of the whole scheme of a planning department to do the thinking for the men, as well as a number of foremen to assist and lead each man in his work, on the ground that this does not tend to promote independence, self-reliance, and originality in the individual. Those holding this view, however, must take exception to the whole trend of modern industrial development; and it appears to the writer that they overlook the real facts in the case.
It is true, for instance, that the planning room, and functional foremanship, render it possible for an intelligent laborer or helper in time to do much of the work now done by a machinist. Is not this a good thing for the laborer and helper? He is given a higher class of work, which tends to develop him and gives him better wages. In the sympathy for the machinist the case of the laborer is overlooked. This sympathy for the machinist is, however, wasted, since the machinist, with the aid of the new system, will rise to a higher class of work which he was unable to do in the past, and in addition, divided or functional foremanship will call for a larger number of men in this class, so that men, who must otherwise have remained machinists all their lives, will have the opportunity of rising to a foremanship.
The demand for men of originality and brains was never so great as it is now, and the modern subdivision of labor, instead of dwarfing men, enables them all along the line to rise to a higher plane of efficiency, involving at the same time more brain work and less monotony. The type of man who was formerly a day laborer and digging dirt is now for instance making shoes in a shoe factory. The dirt handling is done by Italians or Hungarians.
After the planning room with functional foremanship has accomplished its most difficult task, of teaching the men how to do a full day’s work themselves, and also how to get it out of their machines steadily, then, if desired, the number of non-producers can be diminished, preferably, by giving each type of functional foreman more to do in his speciality; or in the case of a very small shop, by combining two different functions in the same man. The former expedient is, however, much to be preferred to the latter. There need never be any worry about what is to become of those engaged in systematizing after the period of active organization is over. The difficulty will still remain even with functional foremanship, that of getting enough good men to fill the positions, and the demand for competent gang bosses will always be so great that no good boss need look for a job.
Of all the farces in management the greatest is that of an establishment organized along well planned lines, with all of the elements needed for success, and yet which fails to get either output or economy. There must be some man or men present in the organization who will not mistake the form for the essence, and who will have brains enough to find out those of their employees who “get there,” and nerve enough to make it unpleasant for those who fail, as well as to reward those who succeed. No system can do away with the need of real men. Both system and good men are needed, and after introducing the best system, success will be in proportion to the ability, consistency, and respected authority of the management.
In a book of this sort, it would be manifestly impossible to discuss at any length all of the details which go toward making the system a success. Some of them are of such importance as to render at least a brief reference to them necessary. And first among these comes the study of unit times.
This, as already explained, is the most important element of the system advocated by the writer. Without it, the definite, clear-cut directions given to the workman, and the assigning of a full, yet just, daily task, with its premium for success, would be impossible; and the arch without the keystone would fall to the ground.
In 1883, while foreman of the machine shop of the Midvale Steel Company of Philadelphia, it occurred to the writer that it was simpler to time with a stop watch each of the elements of the various kinds of work done in the place, and then find the quickest time in which each job could be done by summing up the total times of its component parts, than it was to search through the time records of former jobs and guess at the proper time and price. After practising this method of time study himself for about a year, as well as circumstances would permit, it became evident that the system was a success.
The writer then established the time-study and rate-fixing department, which has given out piece work prices in the place ever since.
This department far more than paid for itself from the very start; but it was several years before the full benefits of the system were felt, owing to the fact that the best methods of making and recording time observations, as well as of determining the maximum capacity of each of the machines in the place, and of making working tables and time tables, were not at first adopted.
It has been the writer’s experience that the difficulties of scientific time study are underestimated at first, and greatly overestimated after actually trying the work for two or three months. The average manager who decides to undertake the study of unit times in his works fails at first to realize that he is starting a new art or trade. He understands, for instance, the difficulties which he would meet with in establishing a drafting room, and would look for but small results at first, if he were to give a bright man the task of making drawings, who had never worked in a drafting room, and who was not even familiar with drafting implements and methods, but he entirely underestimates the difficulties of this new trade.