Profpoint key specialist in Time and motion research Eugenia Nemkina and the project coordinator and analytic Eugenia Obukhova share information on the stages of Time and motion research project: “The first thing that needs to be done is determining goals and aims of the research. Such research provides various opportunities, that is why it is crucial to understand what the Client wants. The cost of the projects consists of several expense items. The first one is the cost of observers’ work. If we evaluate structure and efficiency of work of each particular employee, we usually use a method of constant observation, which means an employee is observed during all working day or better several days. This method is very time and effort consuming and thus costs more. These costs can be reduced by where one person observes the work of several employees going from employee to employee and taking notes of their actions at that particular moment. Such type of observation is more suitable for factory workers and we do not recommend it for observing office employees. Thus, we determine goals and methods at the initial stage of the project”.
The next stage is development of observation forms, instructions for observers and methods for coding working time. In order to analyze result we need statistical data that is why Profpoint develops special classification of employees’ actions for each project. For instance, we developed Communication form which allows us determining object, subject, means and type of communication. Means of communication include communication in person, conversation over the phone or e-mail. Types of communication include outcoming (initiated by an employee observed) and incoming (initiated by someone other than employee observed).
Observers’ training is equally important. The project we have just started is bigger than the ones we worked on before, so we had to hire additional observers. "I evaluated education and work experience of candidates by looking through their CVs. Often we were contacted by professional photographers. During the interviews I asked candidates to describe working environment in our office. It was important to find out why each candidate found a job interesting considering the fact they did not know what major company we were going to observe. I consider responsibility, amicability and attentiveness to be the key personal qualities of candidates. How a candidate is dressed and their behavior during the interview is also important since observer represents our company in the Client’s office”, - said Eugenia Obukhova who were responsible for hiring observers for the project.
This is not the first time Eugenia Nemkina holds internal trainings for the company employees. Before starting large-scale projects, personal communication, visualization, explaining instructions and feedback are crucial. During the training we teach observers how to communicate with employees being observed, how to fill in observation forms, explain all the aspects of the project organization. "The main part of the training session consists of explaining in detail how to fill in observation forms. Observers should clearly understand what information they should put on the observation forms and how to use codes according to our classification. During the training we also get to know observers better and do additional screening. I remember observers being very surprised to hear that they had to go everywhere with employees whose work they are observing: “Do we have to follow them when they go smoking as well?”, - they asked. We put special emphasis on the discipline. An observer even asked once: “Can we go to have lunch?”
Profpoint observers’ preparation does not end with one day of training. After learning a lot of information during the first day, they have to do home assignment consisting of two parts: observing themselves for one day and coding practice observation forms. The second part of training implies analyzing homework done with each observer individually. During the research project manager Eugenia Nemkina provides feedback to observers on contents of the observation forms and checks observation forms at the same time. Thus, we reduce all possible discrepancies to a minimum. Meanwhile, Eugenia Obukhova is working on the project with a team of well-trained, disciplined and smart-looking observers. We still have to go through several weeks of ovservation and developing reports on the project. We will tell you more about these stages of the project and about employees’ reaction to the Time and motion research later.
If you are interested in taking part in one of Time and motion research projects as an observer, send us your CV by e-mail.
For further information on Time and motion research, please call us on +7 (812) 640-51-06 or send us an e-mail. We operate in all the cities of Russia and are ready to tell you everything we know about Time and motion research, do a project and provide reports in any format convenient for you.