How Do You Do a Time and Motion Study in Excel?

Time and motion studies can provide valuable insight into work efficiency. Executing one can save both time and money for organizations.

Define exactly at which point the product assembly or manufacturing process will be considered complete. Though this may seem like an elementary step, this step is essential to maintaining consistency and creating an accurate view of data later.


Time and motion studies are used by organizations to improve work efficiency. They involve observing a particular task’s execution process, noting the time spent on each step, and analyzing results for potential improvements. Employees themselves or outside observers can conduct this kind of investigation, with results used to reduce production costs, increase productivity and enhance quality.

Start the process by selecting the work to be examined, and identifying how many observations are necessary based on its complexity and accuracy requirements. Aim to make as many observations under various conditions as possible – once this data has been collected, add allowances for breaks and other factors before calculating average normal times for all observed work times.

Once you have collected a list of observations, it is crucial that you establish fixed ending points to ensure accurate calculations and avoid bias from predictable patterns of behavior. Excel offers this feature through =RAND() which generates random numbers between 0-1; these random numbers can then be entered as columns into your observations list.

Next, record the time it takes to perform each activity using either a stopwatch or electronic device. When making observations, be mindful of external factors like weather or traffic conditions that might impede observation as well as internal ones like how long an employee needs to rest between shifts or resting before changing shifts.

Once you have your data, creating a chart to display it is an easy and fun task. The Format tab gives you access to colors and font options so your chart looks its best for presentations or other uses.


If you find yourself performing repetitive actions over and over again, Excel’s macro recorder allows you to create a macro that will automate these repetitive steps for you, saving valuable time. Furthermore, assigning keyboard shortcuts makes your macro even simpler; simply make sure it doesn’t conflict with an existing Excel key combination, otherwise other users may inadvertently trigger it by mistake.

To record a macro, click on the “Record Macro” button on the Developer tab and follow its prompts in order to create the macro. During recording, in the “Record Macro” dialog box you can name your macro and assign its keyboard shortcut so it will be simpler for you in future to run it.

Once you have chosen a name and keyboard shortcut for your macro, click OK to begin recording it. A progress bar in the bottom-right corner will show how long before completion; if recording has not ended yet, use the Stop Recording button on Developer tab to stop recording.

As part of your observation process, take notes on the length of time it takes for each step to be completed. This can help identify which steps are taking too long or are working more effectively; then average out all data from every day and divide by the total days to calculate how long each task should take to complete.

As part of your observations, you can also gather ratings for each employee that will help you assess their working pace. Once you have an understanding of each worker’s performance, calculate normal assembly process times to compare workers against one another and find which one stands out amongst the crowd.


Time and motion studies can be an invaluable way to measure work efficiency. They involve closely observing and timing individual steps within a process and then analyzing the results to identify areas for improvement that could save your business money in terms of increased productivity. But before embarking on one yourself there are certain key points you need to keep in mind before initiating one yourself.

Establish a clear definition for when a product will be considered complete and when you will stop the timer. Otherwise, leaving this up for interpretation could result in inaccurate data – for instance if one person considers it complete when someone attaches its final piece but another sees it complete when packaged, timing data could differ drastically between instances.

Determine how many observations to record for each element in your process. This will allow for accurate comparison and help decide whether the results of your study are significant. In order to use paired t-testing effectively, at least eight observations must be recorded for each variable with both X and Y measurements included as observations in your test set.

Once your data has been collected, Excel’s Analyze Data feature allows you to easily interpret its results. With this tool, it’s possible to spot trends, patterns, and rankings within your information; Microsoft 365 subscribers have access to it across Windows, macOS and the web.

Excel’s Analyze Data tool can be used to generate charts – graphical depictions of data sets that help you better comprehend them more quickly and easily. There is a selection of chart types available, as well as an option called Recommended Charts which shows charts tailored specifically for your dataset.

Excel’s pivot table feature can also help you summarize and analyze your data, offering a powerful data analysis tool without formulas that allows you to sort, rearrange, highlight specific pieces of information.


Time and motion studies (TMSs) are an efficiency technique derived from Frederick Winslow Taylor’s work and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s motion studies, making them a foundation of scientific management (Taylorism).

Time and motion studies typically follow this procedure: 1. An external observer watches workers complete tasks to completion. 2. Tasks are recorded for analysis. 3. Results are compared against benchmarks, 4. Improvement recommendations are made.

Time-motion data analysis can be conducted with various software programs such as Microsoft Excel. One effective strategy for organizing this information is sorting it by task and duration; this enables an analyst to quickly recognize productivity trends as well as formulate recommendations based on findings of their study.

Label the Axes of Your GraphIt’s also important to label the axes of a graph to make the data easier for readers to comprehend. For instance, if a graph shows comparison between “Total Hours Spent Cleaning and “Frequency of Cleaning”, an analyst should label both of the Axes appropriately.

An analyst can then identify which tasks require the most time, using this information to reduce time spent performing those tasks and save both money and effort on cleaning costs.

Once observations and analyses are complete, it’s time to take the next steps toward implementation. This could involve changing workflow, installing new equipment or providing training. As any change could impact multiple aspects of production, it is vitally important that any proposed changes be thoroughly tested before being introduced into production.

Time-motion studies can reduce labor costs and boost productivity, but they can pose challenges that require attention and dedication to overcome. One such challenge lies in aligning time standards with work instructions and process routings, while sharing spreadsheets across an organization may cause miscommunication and result in misdirected work efforts.

If you’re having difficulty with estimating your cleaning budget, conducting a time and motion study may be an invaluable way to start. By entering data into an Excel sheet, you can calculate how many man hours it would take to clean each space – helping create an accurate budget while making bids competitive.