Work Sampling (the definition of)

“A method of finding the percentage occurrence of a certain activity by statistical sampling and random observations”.

(ILO- Introduction to Work Measurement 4th edition).

This measurement technique comes under many banners. Activity Sampling is a popular term which tends to be favoured in the United Kingdom, but also may be known as Random Observation Method, Ratio-Delay Study, Snap-Reading Method of Observing.  

This technique can be very effective in giving the engineer a very fast “view” of what’s happening within an area or process and with the statistical analysis an engineer can ascertain the confidence of activities recorded occurring.  

Historically the technique tended to concentrate on the “working” activities of a process with a single definition of “not working” for everything else. However, with the advent of Lean techniques it now almost as important to define the reasons for “not working” eg. Breakdown, Waiting Materials etc. This creates a feedback on targets for Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) events.  

More recently Activity Sampling has expanded to include sampling based on fixed intervals rather than a random process, this quite often will shorten the time required to study compared with a truly random method. In addition, “Rating” or “Pace” can now be included to obtain a general level of performance for the sample.  

So now we have Rated Activity Sampling (RAS), but of course all this increases the complexity in a manually recorded study, which could mean the engineer has to balance the detail recorded in a study against the time it takes to analyse the data.  

That’s where Tectime can step in by recording the sample on our system. You can review the study immediately, effectively removing the work-up time and because of the client feedback and in-house developments the software will allow you to analyse the data quickly offering reports, exporting and statistical analysis within a few clicks of the mouse.