Saturday, August 3, 2013

Importance of people - organization - F.W. Talor

There is no question that when the work to be done is at all
complicated, a good organization with a poor plant will give better
results than the best plant with a poor organization. One of the most
successful manufacturers in this country was asked recently by a number
of financiers whether he thought that the difference between one style
of organization and another amounted to much providing the company had
an up-to-date plant properly located. His answer was, "If I had to
choose now between abandoning my present organization and burning down
all of my plants which have cost me millions, I should choose the
latter. My plants could be rebuilt in a short while with borrowed money,
but I could hardly replace my organization in a generation."

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

(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

(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,
templates, drawings, etc., are issued under a good check 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.

F.W. Taylor, Shop Management

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