Getting Time Standard: Stopwatch Time Study

It is vital to every business to set expectations for its employees, balance workload, manage constraints, determine staffing levels and crew size, schedule and eliminate waste and non-value-added activity. Thus, work measurement is the technique to set off, for any organization where human and machines contribute to output, to customer service, or even to cost.

Work measurement provides tools to manage the business better. Work measurement engages the estimation of the amount of human effort needed for producing a unit of specified output from an operation. The amount of time that is usually taken by in a well trained worker, operating under normal working conditions, to produce one unit of output is referred as work standard.

A work standard is used when assigning work to employees, scheduling work in departments, and evaluating employee performance. Organizations use several different techniques to set work standards. These are stopwatch time study, work sampling, and predetermined motion times.

Stopwatch Time Study

Time study is a procedure used to measure the time required by a qualified operator working at the normal performance level to perform a given task in accordance with a specified method. It usually includes methods study. The time study analyst has to observe the methods while making a time study. It is advantageous, while the time study is being conducted, the analyst should also look for opportunities for methods improvement.

The procedure for time study can best be described with the following steps:

Step 1: Define objective of the study. This involves statement of the use of the result, the precision desired, and the required level of confidence in the estimated time standards.

The desired accuracy is often stated as a percentage of the average of the observed time. The sample size needed to achieve a certain level of accuracy can be computed using the formula:

Sample size:

n = (zs/ax)2

n = (zs/e)2

where: n = number of observations needed

x = mean of the observed time

a = allowable error as percentage of average time

e = maximum acceptable error

s = standard deviation of observed time

z = number of normal standard deviation needed for desired confidence

Typical values of z, cumulative probabilities of the Standard Normal Distribution used in this computation are:

Confidence Level          z value

          90%                     1.65

          95%                     1.96

          95.5%                  2.00

          98%                     2.33

          99%                     2.58


A time study analyst wished to estimate the time required to perform a certain job. A preliminary work showed a mean of 6 minutes and a standard deviation of 2 minutes. The desired confidence is 95%. What`s the sample size needed if the desired error is (a) + 10% and (b) one-half minute of the sample mean?

for (a)

n = [1.96(2)/0.10(6)]2

n = 42.68 or 43 sample size

for (b)

n =[ 1.96(2)/0.5]2

n = 61.47 or 62 sample size

Step 2: Analyze the operation to determine whether standard method and conditions exist and whether the operator is properly trained. If need is felt for method study or further training of operator, the same may be completed before starting the time study.

Step 3: Select Operator to be studied if there is more than one operator doing the same task.

Step 4: Record information about the standard method, operation, operator, product, equipment, quality and conditions.

Step 5: Divide the operation into reasonably small elements.

Step 6: Time the operator for each of the elements. Record the data for a few numbers of cycles. Use the data to estimate the total numbers of observations to be taken.

Step 7: Collect and record the data of required number of cycles by timing and rating the operator. Performance rating is invariably required when setting standards by stopwatch time study due to some cases: the operator being observed may work faster than average (naturally quicker, showing off, or speeding up due to nervousness from being studied); and the operator being observed may work more slowly than the average (just naturally slower, slowing down on purpose to confuse the time study analyst, or excessive interruptions, and so on). The standard performance rating is denoted as 100 percent.

Step 8: For each element calculate the representative watch time or observed time. Multiply it by the rating factory to get normal time.

Normal time =Observed time) x Rating factor

Example: An operator takes an average of 10 minutes to complete a particular task. Operator’s performance rating (pace) is 110%. What is the normal time for completing this task?

NT = 10 minutes (110%/100%)

NT = 11 minutes

Add the normal time of various elements to obtain the normal time for the whole operation.

Step 9: Determine allowances for various delays from the company's policy book or by conducting an independent study. The readings of any time study are taken over a relatively short period of time. The normal time arrived at, therefore does not include unavoidable delay and other lawful lost time, for example, in waiting for materials, tools or equipment; planned inspection of parts; interruptions due to valid personal need, etc. It is necessary and important that the time study analyst applies some adjustment, or an allowance to pay off for such losses, so that time standard is established for the given job.

Step 10: Determine standard time by adding allowances to the normal time of operation.

Standard Time = (NT) x (1 + allowance factor)

Using Allowance Factor for task:

AFtask: ST = (NT)(1 + AF)

Allowance Factor for shift or total work period:

AFshift: ST = NT/ (1 – AF)

AFtask is most often used in practice which assumes that allowances are added to normal time. If presumes that allowances should be applied to the total work period, then AFshift should be used.

Example: An operator takes an average of 10 minutes to complete a particular task. Operator’s performance rating (pace) is 110% and there is an allowance of 15%. What is the normal time and standard time for completing this task?

Given the NT = 11 minutes,

Using AFtask, therefore, the standard time is,

ST = 11 x (1 + 0.15) = 12.65 minutes

Today, Work Measurement studies and establishing time standards is very easy with the use of a unique TimeCorder device. Let's watch this video.

Guide Question:

When can we say that time values or the computed time standard is actually the standard? (Write your answer in the comment section below)

Let's try this quiz!!!

About the author

Suzette Masangcay-Mercado is currently taking up Master of Science in Engineering Education major in Industrial Engineering at Rizal Technological University, Mandaluyong City. She is a faculty member of Batangas State University, Alangilan Campus under the College of Engineering, Architecture and Fine Arts.



I got 26/30 :D We say that time values or the computed time standard is actually the standard when; for example we conduct a study in one company and we want to know what is the actual standard time within the workplace, if the people within the company is too many, get only a consistent people that can perform better performance without skipping one element and making a high quality product; for example 10 people, using stopwatch we can get the observed time then we will get normal time and finally we can get the standard time of each. Then analyze each standard time and get the time that occur most frequent. -Justine Christian L. Dimaculangan :)

We can say that the computed time is standard if the operator is working at a normal phase and if he produce a quality product/output. About this article, it is very informative. As an industrial engineering student,it help me to refresh what i had learn from our past lesson. About the quiz, i got 22. To others, if you're going to take the quiz, be sure that your calculator is with you. :)

We can say that the time values or the computed time standard is actually the standard when the calculated time agrees with the frequently occurring measured time that takes a well-trained worker to complete his job under normal working conditions considering the important factors such as the performance rating of the worker and reasonable allowances.I got 22/30 :)

ow ow,i got 20 out of 30 questions. for me, we can say that the computed time standard is actually the standard, when we use qualified operator during observation and they are working under normal pace.

ow ow,i got 20 out of 30 questions. for me, we can say that the computed time standard is actually the standard, when we use qualified operator during observation and they are working under normal pace.

We can say that the computed time is is actually the standard time when the time used by the qualified workercan produce a good quality product.Considering the delays and allowances. About the quiz, i got 18/30 but still i passed. :))

This article is very helpful in getting time standard using stopwatch.Time study is used to measure the time required by a qualified operator working at the normal performance level to perform a given task.Computed time standard is actually the standard.Recalling the formulas are really important. I got 20/30 in that quiz.

Time study is very important to all the company because it is the basis of the capacity of the workers in their work or the capacity of the machine to have an output. Based on my experienced in my internship I live with my stopwatch. This article recall my ojt life and gives importance of time study in all IE students. Thanks to the author.

For me, as an Industrial Engineeering student, that article was very interesting, it helps us to recall about time study, as we do, is to conduct time study, It is very helpful since I will be planning to take my certification exam. thankyou to the author of this article, it was so very imformative, and it will guide us not only now but also in the future.

Conducting time study is very important to set the standard time for a certain process in the production of a company which will be their basis on setting their production line and at the same time scheduling the production of the product ordered by their customer. This article helps me to recall what are the important things needed to be able to make the data accurate. More power to the author..Godbless..

a time study is an analysis of the production process that is designed to improve efficiency by identifying areas of production where time is wasted.It is used to determine the time required by a qualified and well trained person working at a normal pace to do a specified task. The result of time study is the time that a person suited to the job and fully trained in the specified method that need to perform the job if it works at a normal or standard speed. This is called standard time. We can say that the time values or the computed time standard is actually the standard, it is based on the proper observation of the analyst, not to be biased in recording time and if it is in a normal pace or good condition while performing an activity. It is also actually standard if the observer/operator do with their task when performing an activity and if it have an accurate time to do so. In the quiz and lessons, it may help to recall the past lesson and now you can realized your mistakes. It is the review of time study and getting time standard. It helps to pursue our knowledge that gives a challenge for us..I got 28/30.. If i compare my experiences last sem and this sem in work measurement, i realized my mistakes in the past and i challenge myself to pursue in my study. I realized that time study is important to know the essence of it into the future. To my instructor, very thankful to have this article because it can help to refresh our mind about this lesson..

<3 ...22 soooobrang informative po, this article really help a lot to get for the standard time of an individual considering its performance level and allowance in given task,..:, this help many company to eliminate the waste or the ineffective time in producing there output. and because of this we can determine what is the total or the accurate production. Because of these, we may know the losses of any operation that may lead to depression. Having this time standard this may gave a great impact in improving once operation to do better, to made excel, to outshine, and to be on top, to be on the peak among all the businesses. This really gave benefits in any individual to ban their losses in life, and may help those student who may conduct their time study.

we can say that time value is actually standard . we can use stopwatch in time study to get the standard time ,we can see the difference between the computed standard time with the previous one.we can also say that when the qualified operator being observed by a observer able to complete the specified task under the normal working condition. i got 24/30..the question are still fresh on my my mind thats why I got a passing score .thank yooo :)

As an Industrial Engineering Student, this article is a great help for me. Everything in the world is going through changes,especially TIME. So related to this topic we are able to learn on setting up standard time, particularly making up an accurate data plot using time study. I got 24 out of 30. thanks for the great author. by: Princess Diane Magboo po. :)

This article helped me a lot to recall the entire lesson that I had these past few days. As an Industrial Engineering Student, we can improved the process or method with the used of time study. With the time study we can compute the standard time and we can also differentiate it with the normal time. I got 18 out of 30.

Time study plays very important role in industry because it enhance production quality and utilize maximum resource capacity in minimum time. We can say that the computed time standard is actually the standard if the operator is working at his normal phase while the time study is ongoing, and if the time study is repeated the computed standard time is still the standard time that is done before and if he produce a product with good quality. I got 20 over 30, this article helped me to remember our previous topic and it helped me in the preparation in our cover to cover examination, thank you to the author. :D -Suzette Gem D. Gonda

As Industrial Engineers we are expected to implement improvements and innovations that will lessen the company's costs and wastes. As part of this work, we ought to be able to determine the standard time for a specified job or task. We can do so by conducting a time study. This study aims to set a new standard for a process, thus, it is a must, that this study be conducted with great cooperation between the worker and the analyst. An accurate and effective time standard is set by choosing the right/qualified worker to be observed. Qualified as in a worker who works with his normal pace and ability following specific instructions to perform a particular job. Due to Hawthorne effect, workers tend to be distracted or motivated. In this case, I am the worker and this quiz serves as my superior. Due to the demanding time limit, I tend to answer as fast as I can, not really minding what the correct answers may be. it is the same as that effect. Maybe some of my classmates tend to answer this quiz as thoroughly as they could. Well, each person defines a different personality. Thus, the first step in conducting this study is to SELECT the qualified worker among the other workers. I got 20 out of 30. --- Pamela Joyce A. Nuqui

We can say that time values or the computed time standard is actually the standard when the qualified worker is working within a normal pace producing the desired output in an efficient way and effective attitude.

Once you have come up with the normal time and added to the allowance given it is the standard time of the process. I got 20 out of 30.

Time study is a direct and continuous observation of a task, using a timekeeping device to record the time taken to accomplish a task. Based on my learning, we can say that the computed time standard is actually the standard when the qualified worker is working within a normal working condition creating the desired output in a valuable and efficient way. I got 24 out of 30, this article is very helpful in giving a knowledge on how to get a time standard for a specified task. Thank you to the author. :) -Anajane N. Chavez

when you do your study honestly and accurately with all the necessary data needed and with the correct process , and when the computed is close to the actual scenario. then i say that the computed standard time is standard. i got 26. -Angel Sarah Gonzales


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