Are you looking to improve productivity and efficiency in your workplace? A time study can help you identify inefficiencies and streamline processes. However, creating a template for it is essential to ensure accurate and efficient data collection.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to make a time study template. This includes understanding the purpose and benefits, preparing for the study, creating the template, and conducting the study itself.

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Understanding time study templates

Before we dive into the specifics of making a time study template, let’s define what a time study template is.

What is a time study template?

A time study template is a standardized form used to record data during a time study. Using the time it took to complete certain tasks or activities, you can identify areas for improvement. Moreover, you can make the necessary changes for increased productivity and efficiency. 

These templates typically include columns to record the participant’s name or ID, the date and time of the study, the task being studied, and the time it takes to complete the task. Some templates may include additional information, such as notes on the task or the environment in which it is performed.

Benefits of using a time study process

Creating a time study template is an effective way to optimize and streamline your time management processes. By implementing a well-designed template, you can readily identify potential areas for process improvement. Some of the key benefits of using a time study template include:

  • Standardizing data collection to ensure consistency and accuracy
  • Providing a structured format for easy organization and interpretation of data
  • Allowing for easy replication of the study to track progress and measure improvement over time

Key components of a time study template

Using a structured time study template ensures accurate and easy-to-understand data, making it simpler to make targeted improvements. Some of the main components of a time study template include:

  • Participant identification to track who is involved in the study
  • Date and time stamps to record when the study took place
  • Task description to ensure clarity and consistency in what is being studied
  • Time measurement to understand how long it takes to complete the task

Ensure your template is easy for people without time study experience to use, with a simple and intuitive design. You’ll also want to tailor your template to the specific needs and requirements of your workplace. For example, templates for a manufacturing environment should include additional fields to track machine downtime and any other factors that may impact productivity.

How to prepare for your time study process

Take the time to prepare for your time study to ensure that it will be accurate and provide valuable insights into your business processes.

Identify all tasks that are critical to your business, or ones where you suspect there may be inefficiencies. Remember to also consider the scope and duration of the study. How many participants will you need? How long will the study take?

1. Gather necessary tools and resources

Get a stopwatch or timer, a clipboard or tablet for collecting data, and any materials needed for the task being studied. Make sure that you have everything you need before beginning your time study. 

2. Select participants for the time study

Choosing the right participants is key to the success of your time study. You will want those with the right experience and knowledge to guarantee an accurate collection of data. Determine how many participants you’ll need for each task and whether any tasks require multiple participants.

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How to create your time study template

It is now time to create your time study template. By following a few simple steps, you’ll have a well-structured, thorough time study template ready for use.

1. Choose a format for your template

When it comes to creating a time study template, there are several format options available. Create your own template using a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets, or download a pre-designed template online. 

If you choose to create your own template, be sure to consider the format that will work best for your study. Some common formats include:

  • Simple stopwatch and clipboard method
  • Excel spreadsheet with formulas to automatically calculate time
  • Mobile app designed specifically for time studies

2. Design the layout of the template

Pause to consider the number of tasks you’ll be studying. More importantly, consider how the data will be recorded, as you will want to include all necessary information. This data should also be easily accessible.

Will you need columns for start and stop times? Will you need to record the number of units produced during the task? 

It’s also important to consider the physical layout of the template and ensure it’s easy to navigate. Will it be a paper form or an electronic form? Can it be filled out by hand or accessed on a tablet or computer? 

3. Incorporate essential elements into the time study template

When creating your time study template, be sure to include all the essential elements we identified earlier. This includes space for participant identification, date and time stamps, task description, and time measurement.

Participant identification is important for tracking who performed the task and ensuring accurate data collection. The date and time stamps show when the task was done, which is helpful for spotting patterns and trends. The task description should be detailed enough to ensure consistency across multiple trials. Lastly, it’s crucial to maintain accurate and consistent time measurement, whether you’re recording in minutes, seconds, or units produced.

How to conduct the time study

Now that your template is complete, it’s time to conduct the time study. Conducting a time study can help you identify areas of inefficiency in your processes and improve overall productivity. In this section, we’ll go over the steps you need to take to conduct a successful time study.

1. Train participants on the time study process

Before beginning, provide participants with clear instructions on the study process and how to use the template. This will ensure they understand the importance of accurate data collection and are able to complete the study effectively. Make sure to answer any questions they may have and provide examples of how to use the template.

2. Observe and record task completion times

Once the participants are trained, it’s time to begin the time study. Observe and record their task completion times using the time study template. Make sure to collect as much data as possible to ensure accurate results. This may involve observing the same task multiple times or different tasks performed by the same participant.

Also, it’s vital to remain objective during the observation process. Avoid interfering with the task being performed or influencing the participant in any way. Simply observe and record the completion time.

3. Analyze the collected data

The last step is to analyze the collected data. Use the results to identify problems and areas for improvement. Look for patterns in the data that may indicate a need for changes or additional training.

It’s important to involve all stakeholders in the analysis process, such as the managers, supervisors, and participants themselves. The purpose is to have everyone understand the results and remain committed to making improvements.


By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create an effective time study template to help your organization increase productivity and efficiency. Remember, the key to a successful time study lies in careful preparation, consistent data collection, and thorough analysis of the results. If possible, your company could repeat the study periodically to track progress and measure improvements over time.

Maximize efficiency even further with Wrike’s user-friendly work management platform. Begin your free trial now and gain valuable insights into your organization’s time utilization.

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Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

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