Work sampling Methodology
An analyst RANDOMLY observes an activity (equipment, operating room, production line) and notes the particular states of the activity at each observation.
The ratio of the number of observations of a given state of the activity to the total number of observations taken will approximate the percentage of time that the activity is in that given state.
Note that random observations are very critical for a work sampling study. A brief example might be that 77 of 100 observations showed a machine to be running. We might then conclude, within certain statistical limits, that the equipment is operational 77% of the time.
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