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 - 59

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.

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 assignments to be evaluated 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).


Other assignments (not evaluated):

- Process analysis diagram

- Operator-machine cycles analysis

- Design, balancing, and simulation of Line production systems

Evaluation method

(1) Lectures (65% of the final grade; the minimum grade is 9,5 in 20): 2 tests or final exam.

(2) Laboratory (35% of the final grade; the minimum average grade is 9,5 in 20): 15%TP1 (group); 5%TP2 (individual); 15%TP3 (group); 

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

(4) Final Grade =  0,65*Lectures + 0,15*TP1 + 0,05*TP2 + 0,15*TP3

Subject matter

1. Introduction to labor legislation

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

3. Techniques to analyze the workflow.

4. 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.

5. Work sampling to study the tasks performed in a workstation.

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

7. Operators pluriocupation, as a methodology of work cycle evaluation, involving the interaction between an operator and several equipment. Man-machine cycles, as a methodology of work cycle evaluation, involving operator - equipment interaction.

8. 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.

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


Programs where the course is taught: