Time and Motion Studies and ISC: all you need to know

Time and Motion studies are a key technique in business efficiency that lead industrial processes to operational excellence.  

The objective of this post is to explain what a time and motion study is and to show the software that makes a difference in your analysis.

First, let us define what a time and motion study is.

A Time and Motion study examines every single step of a manufacturing process in a recording. 

Relying on a work measurement system, the study determines after direct, continuous observation how long they all take on average and decides proper task/procedure timing and duration. This analysis is done with advanced, specialized time and motion software and excels when performed with ISC.

Time and Motion studies are one of the best methods not only to determine the actual level of productivity, but also to find out where most time is spent.

It is therefore a great technique to identify the 8 wastes of lean, also called TIMWOODS. The non-valued-added analysis will reduce or eliminate this waste, and will also determine the particular time required after the implementations.

time and motion studies

Time and Motion studies outline the groundwork and lead to capacity improvements, reducing and controlling costs, enhancing working conditions and motivating individuals.

Benefits of Time and Motion Studies

There are many benefits associated with the proper conduct and implementation of time and motion studies. Among other benefits, they:

  • Enhance the current methods of performance improvements. The size of the industry or operations does not matter.
  • Help to distinguish the right floor plan or operation layout of the factory.
  • Result in better resource utilization, increased job fulfillment and overall efficiency.
  • Reduce manual effort due to the implementation of a better workflow.

The Hawthorne Effect

Lean managers should consider a key factor: the Hawthorne Effect.

This phenomenon has two parts, both critical to a comprehensive understanding of business efficiency.

  • People tend to work better when they know they are being observed or recorded.
  • Workers’ performance tends to improve because of changes, no matter what those changes are.

Being aware of the Hawthorne Effect can keep analysts from becoming overconfident in their own improvement decisions. It is also important to bear in mind that an improvement in one key factor does not necessarily mean a permanent change.

Sometimes, a sudden improvement is simply workers’ reaction to the incorporation of a new manager or machine.

So, rather than expecting that these natural improvements last forever, analysts should focus on making changes that allow the same level of productivity with less energy.  

ISC and Time and Motion Studies

When it comes to Time and Motion Studies, ISC supports the separation between machine and manual work.


ISC has developed DGM, a professional solution adapted to machines. This software provides the most efficient tools focused on machine analysis.

With a comfortable learning curve, DGM simply requires a video of a machine process to define the machine cycle and the machine movements.

Quick & Outstanding Results
DGM has an average of 30% increased performance.

After that, the magic happens in the Non-Value-Added module: it provides a full set of improvement options to help you not only identify waste, but also reduce or eliminate it.

Last but not least, the Action Plan module allows you to define the tasks to implement all the improvements.


DGI is the advanced software that focuses on human work. It is very similar to DGM, but DGI provides the most efficient techniques adapted to manual processes.

Load the process video and define the cycle along with its movements.

Quick & Outstanding Results
DGI has an average of 20% increased performance.

Make then a complete MTM-2 study for each sequence and find out the improvements from the Non-Value-Added module.

Finally, define the tasks needed to implement the improvements in the Action Plan module.

ISC benefits

As seen in this post, Time and Motion studies are a key factor that will boost your capacity when done well.

The perfect match comes when conducting time and motion studies with ISC software.

With DGM and DGI, you will obtain your complete analysis 11 times faster than doing it manual. This turns into several advantages:

  • Saving tons of time, so you can do more analysis
  • Deep, comprehensive understanding of your processes
  • Detailed reports of every machine/human work.
  • Solid results from the very first day.

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