Short Interval Scheduling must be one of the most widely used, most controversial, least promoted, least understood management techniques of the past century.
It has aroused more wrath from Unions than Bedaux or Taylor, Management who have used it either love it or hate it.
Despite this it has endured for more than fifty years. It has probably saved more money for more organisations for less cost than any other single management technique.
So why no books, no BSI definition, no articles, no seminars, nobody proclaiming the wonders of this successful methodology?
Simple - its a secret.
Its originator Alexander Proudfoot decreed that it should be so. Why give the client the idea that he could do it for himself. Why let the competition think they could do it too.
The result is that every SIS practitioner has been Proudfoot trained. All companies practising the technique or its derivatives have been set up and trained by Proudfoot people. Clients have a vested interest in keeping quiet to conceal their new found competitive advantage.
The essence of the process is to identify in bottleneck scenarios, the staff most able to throughput the most work in short term batches of approximately twenty-(20) minutes duration. As soon as each batch is completed a further batch is undertaken with a controller (usually a Proudfoot Consultant) appointed for ensuring that all staff are accommodated with work within this tightly controlled regime. As soon as order is restored, batches move to a one hour duration.
Nothing and no one is sacrosanct. Over the years the principles have been adapted to handle research scientists, doctors, designers, bank vice presidents, stock brokers, actuaries, university professors, al yielding the same pattern of productivity improved results.
So why does it work?
The consistency of the results implies that in any organisation people are working at about 20% of their potential capacity. The difference between an efficient organisation and an inefficient one is about plus or minus 5% net.
Indeed the more efficient the organisation to start with the greater and sooner the benefits.
The average breakdown is as follows:
When it is considered that the ultimate cost of every artefact we use in the civilised world is the product of someone’s labour then we are paying five times as much as we should do.
Its amazing also how difficult it is to be able to keep a small group of people continuously occupied with useful and productive work. It does require a continuous process of thinking ahead for each group member by the group leader.
That's the secret of SIS.