New Work Methods Performance

By Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto
Mastering the Performance of New Work Methods and the Variation of the New Cycle Time

Sometimes I get questions about the performance of the new work methods resulting from the application of the MDC.

These questions are as follows: How to monitor the performance of a new work method designed with MDC and manage the approach of the cycle time variations of the new method?

Answer: This question is very important to implement new designed methods at shop floor level and to understand the effectiveness of work measurement.

The MDC design process does not require standard time for designing work contents, it is normally recommended to do direct time study and/or estimating based on experiences. The time values are not engineered based on standard, those are simply just time values. Such time values cannot say inconvenience or unreliable time values, are keeping consistency as designed methods based on present methods.

At implementing new design methods, foreman just should concentrate to verify whether workers are following new method exactly or not. Meeting time values of new methods are not important at the implementing new methods stage, workers repeat new methods and time values are automatically met to designed based time values. The new designed methods never demand to shorten time values, this is important for not misunderstanding the method change.

The left of the figure indicates the actual cycle time valiance for a designed new method, beginning at implementing new methods instruction for workers that should be instructed to concentrate on new methods with no questions about time value. After several days of practice of new methods, setting time value for new methods will be cleared without special instruction about time values through foremen, because time values themselves are just time values before MDC. The figure shows that the time value variation is about ± 30 percent on before design methods.

The middle of the figure shows reducing variation of time values become narrow about ± 10 percent through reasonable foreman’s instruction and supervising for new designed methods.

The right of the figure shows that time values are longer than engineered time values for example set by MTM standard, such as 53 percent of performance level measured by high task standard. This level should be said very low compare to MTM standard. Those results means effectiveness of implementing work measurement system/performance control system and its effectiveness for productivity improvement. The figure shows that cycle time is improved from about 7.5 minutes to 4.5 minutes with work measurement/performance control system.

The total improvement of methods change and performance improvement is 8.3 to 4.5 minutes.

So, What Do You Think?

How do you establish and achieve a total improvement in changing current work methods and how do you improve performance?


1. Manufacturing Cost Policy Deployment(MCPD) and Methods Design Concept(MDC), The Path to Competitiveness,  Alin Posteuca and Shigeyasu Sakamoto, CRC Press, USA, 2017.

2. Beyond World-Class Productivity, Industrial Engineering Practice and Theory, Shigeyasu Sakamoto, Springer, UK, 2010.

3. Design concept for methods engineering in Maynard Industrial Engineering Handbook, the Fourth ed. Hodson, Shigeyasu Sakamoto, McGraw Hill, 1992.

Dr. Shigeyasu Sakamoto is a management consultant in productivity and profitability improvement and president of Productivity Partner Incorporation - Japan. Before his current appointment, Sakamoto was vice president of Maynard MEC AB (Sweden) and vice president of JMAC (Japan).

Dr. Sakamoto is a Fellow at the World Academy of Productivity Science. He received his doctorate degree of policy science from the Graduate School of Doshisha University in Japan and is certified as a P.E. by the Japanese government. He is also certified as: industrial engineer from the European Institute of Industrial Engineers, international MTM, method-time measurement instructor from International MTM Directorate (IMD), a MOST instructor from Maynard Management Institute and Work-Factor and Mento Factor instructor from WOFAC Corporation. He worked for the IMD as the technical coordinator responsible for developing a new system of MTM. Sakamoto is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers in USA.

Dr. Sakamoto has more than 50 years of management consultant experience and he has very good feedback from his clients - top management - especially regarding the direct contribution to corporate performance with his own developed methodology of MDC, method design concept and work measurement rather than introducing a lot of fashionable topics. Basic industrial engineering technologies are not hackneyed. Effective results come when industrial engineers know how to use the technologies and demonstrate their abilities. This includes going back to the basics.

Dr. Sakamoto insists that the fundamentals for a higher level of Syakaku is only possible to reach through a higher level of profitability based on a higher level of productivity. There are so many arguments and targets for improving productivity for the purpose of competitiveness in the world market. However, poor levels of productivity and profitability only compromise higher corporate dignity, which is Syakaku.