Work Study


At the end of the semester, students should be able to: 

  • evaluate work cycles, in a perspective of operations efficiency and productivity;
  • define operations normal time, standard time and work allowances;
  • evaluate micromotions and value-added activities;
  • structure a line production flow and cell production flow;
  • define a process mapping in order to optimize industrial or service processes.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Teresa Martins Videira Gabriel, Isabel Maria Nascimento Lopes Nunes


Weekly - 4

Total - 70

Teaching language



Not applied. There are no specific units established as "precedents".


• Boykin, R.F., et al. Production and operations management: test bank. 5th ed. NY: The Dryden Press, 1992.
• Chase, R.B., et al. Operations Management for Competitive Advantage. 11th ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
• Gaither, N. Production and operations management. 5th ed. US: The Dryden Press Publishers, 1992
• Galloway, D. Mapping work processes. US: ASQC Quality Press, 1994
• Slack N., et al. Operations Management. 8th Edition. UK: Pearson, 2016.
• Stevenson W.J. Operation Management. 12th ed. NY: Mcgraw-Hill Education, 2015.
• Mayer, R.R. Production and operations management. 4th ed. Auckland: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982.
• Monks, J.G. Operations management: theory and problems. 3rd ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1987.

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures are used to explain fundamental concepts and common techniques.

Practical sessions are used for problem-solving and practice, concerning knowledge presented during the lectures. Most practical work is based on screening of videos, recorded in real work situations, and by observing simulated activities developed during Lab sessions. The subjects covered in the lab(practical) sessions are:

TP1 - Time Study; time measurement techniques with chronometers.

TP2 - Application of MTM-1 technique (performing simulated operations in Lab)

TP3 - Operator''s multi-occupation (multitasking situations).

Evaluation method

(1) Lectures (60% of the final grade; the minimum grade is 9,5 in 20): one final test or final exam.

(2) Laboratory (40% of the final grade; the minimum grade is 9,5 in 20): 10%TP1 (group); 5%TP2 (individual); 20%TP3 (group); 5%mini-assignment(s) to evaluation (individual).

(3) The laboratory grade is valid for one year.

(4) Final Grade =  0,6*Lectures + 0,1*TP1 + 0,05*TP2 + 0,2*TP3 + 0,05*Assignment(s)

Subject matter

1. Introduction to labor legislation

2. Discussion of different technologies installed in industrial units: process, bulk, batch and unitary.

3. Time study, as a tool for the evaluation and optimization of industrials activities: the time study methodology. Operator activity factor. Activity allowances. Observed, normal and standard time.

4. Man-machine cycles, as a methodology of work cycle evaluation, involving operator - equipment interaction.

5. Operators pluriocupation, as a methodology of work cycle evaluation, involving the interaction between an operator and several equipments.

6. Predetermined Time Systems, as a methodology of microscopic evaluation of upper limb movements: MTM-1 system

7. Line production flow, regarding the competitive advantage in relation to other forms of production flow; cycle time, frequency, idle time and operations synchronization; line dimensioning techniques and performance evaluation.

8. Cell production flow: competitive advantage and strategic objectives related to its implementation; automatic, semi-automatic and intensive manual work cells; dimensioning techniques.

9. Human Factors in industrial production: task dimensioning and the implications in workers psychological state; workstation redimensioning techniques; individual workstations and work groups; different functional structures at the operational level and its connection to vertical and horizontal differentiation, and to communication effectiveness.

10. Process mapping of industrial or service processes



Programs where the course is taught: