METHODS

Methods are sub-units of a procedure; they show clearly as to how a step of procedure should be performed. They indicate the techniques to be employed to make the procedure effective. The primary focus is on finding out the best way of doing a piece or work. For example, in a manufacturing concern product sampling may be a method used as one part of a quality control procedure. Methods cover limited territory, normally one department, and are tied to the efforts of one employee doing a piece of work. They are more limited in scope than procedures.

Standard methods can be applied successfully where the tasks are carefully defined, performed in a specific way and tied to a definite time schedule. On the other hand, standard methods are more difficult to apply to intangible areas like sales, customer relation etc. where activities tend to be varied and behavior patterns tend to be complex and unpredictable. At times standard methods are not products of deliberate thinking. They just grow, become accepted behavior and then become highly inflexible. Managers must guard themselves against the choking effect of detailed methods covering every aspect of an activity. The costs involved in finding out ‘the one best way’ should be weighed carefully against the possible benefits. Any standard method developed ultimately ‘must apply to a large volume of work so that cost can be recovered by more efficiency in doing the work.’