Especially for SME’s – 41: Time – Reducing number and sequence of steps.

25 May 2022

SME


SME 2: This method will reduce the elapsed time for processes and roles: but is the time reduction possible even at task level?

Mr. Lowe: But assume it is possible to reduce the time taken for the task, i.e., do not assume the task will take that long as you are taking currently. This is the essential mind -set we should have to trigger possible reduction of the time we take to do any task. This makes us to take a critical look at the factors that are responsible for consumption of time to complete the task. The factors responsible in general are the number of steps and sequence of steps. Take a machining job for example. First we question the number of steps we are taking for machining: This can be reduced by a multi-tool configuration so that a couple or more operations are done simultaneously rather than in series.

SME 3: Is there anything else we can do?

Mr. Lowe: We can critically look at the tool material and whether that is suitable for cutting or machining the material of the job at a faster speed or feed or both. We can question the sequence of these steps we are following and by rearranging, we can at times do away with or at least reduce the time taken for a few steps. Even in manual jobs, reducing the number of steps, questioning the sequence and rearranging the sequence have given me enormous time reduction and increased output.

SME 1: Is there anything else that we can do to speed up things?

Mr. Lowe: Yes there is one more: It looks funny but by slowing down you can speed up! What I mean is by taking a break for 10 to 15 minutes every hour or hour and a half of work, you can increase the output over a given time. This is particularly true for mental jobs that we at the top normally do or are supposed to do.

The mind gets relaxed and works faster and better after the break but gets tired after continuously working for longer hours. We need not have to lie down and relax (this is not prohibited though) but doing something drastically different from what we have been doing relaxes the mind.

SME 2: This is a great revelation to us. Are there any other mantras for using time effectively?

Mr. Lowe: There is just one more: Do just one thing at a time and not even two: this is because of the energy law p= f/a and even 2a,which happens when we do two tasks at a time, reduces p to half that is insufficient to reduce resistance to complete the task in the least possible time.

SME 3: But we have half a dozen jobs to be done at any moment. How can we do just one at a time?

Mr. Lowe: Good, practical question: Our to do list contains at least 6 tasks at any time. But yet I say do one task at a time but one after the other. Our brain is not designed for multi-tasking and does have interrupt features to ensure this one at a time one after the other feature with which our mind is very effective. So how do we do it? ……….contd.

SME

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