I haven’t had any direct interaction with the specific scientific management described in this book but I have had interaction with it on a more informal scale. The statement that I feel applies to my experience with scientific management is:
“Scientific management requires an investigation of each of the many modifications of the same implement, developed under rule of thumb, and second after a time study has been made of the speed attainable with each of these implements, that the good points of several of them should be united in a single standard implement, which would enable them to work faster and with greater ease than before” (62).
Instead of modifying the tool used to perform a task I will just explore different methods to accomplish a task using the same machine.
I work at a bowling alley that has old pinsetting machines, some were made in the late 1940s. They tend to occasionally clear someone’s pins that remain after they have already thrown their first ball, in other words not giving them the opportunity to pick up their spare. Because of this, the employees have to go set them back up so they have the chance to pick up their spare. (This more so occurs in bowling leagues because certain ones have regulations governing if a pin falls “legally.” Sometimes pins break and fall over which is another example of an illegal falling pin.)
There are several ways to accomplish the task of setting back up someone’s pins, some simpler but more difficult in terms of physical labor, while another can be done while pretty much sitting down. The first and probably the most simple way to do it is just to crawl under the machine, turn it off, set up the ones they ask for and turn it back on. This method has several disadvantages the first being that people claim that it’s distracting while they are trying to bowl and it’s the most labor intensive way involving one to crawl under the machine and brush all the unwanted pins away and place the requested ones on the little dots where there suppose to go.
The second way, without getting too technical, is to go around the back of the machine crawl up on top, shut the machine off at a particular time, crawl over to the front, drop the pins in the proper chute and turn it back on. This way is easier than the first but it is more time consuming because you have to wait for the right time to shut it off. I should also say that I figured out how to do it myself.
The third and final way to do it eliminates two steps from the second way because someone took the time to show me a more efficient way to do it. All the third way involves is crawling up, sitting down, “stopping” the machine, putting the desired pins in and “restarting” it.
The third way is definitely the easiest, fastest, and most efficient way to do it. I had someone who knew more about the machines than I did show it to me because he had been working on them for much longer than me. These machines are very complicated, for instance “restarting” the machine involves me pushing a trip lever that serves a different purpose than what I use it for.
Without being shown, I would have had no idea of the method he showed me because it uses things on the machine that weren’t intended to be used that way; therefore they are not obvious to be used in the manner that he showed me.
If anyone is interested in what the back of a pinsetter looks like here’s what I think is a cool video of it on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fd5schChJY