Working as a foreman for the Bethlehem Steel Works in the 1900s, Frederick W. Taylor observed how workers could do more with less time.
Taylor analyzed coal shoveling at the factory and noticed that several workers brought different sizes of shovels from home. Workers who brought small shovels could do more but it took them longer, and workers who brought big shovels could do less but it was faster.
Taylor observed that the best size shovel was one weighing about twenty pounds. As a result, he directed the organization to provide all the workers with the same size shovel. He also provided pay incentives for workers who could shovel more coal. By making these changes, the organization dramatically increased its production.
Taylor believed that several steps must be taken in order to create a more productive organization. First, one must examine the job or task. Second, one needs to determine the best way to complete the job or task. Third, one must choose the most appropriate person for the task while at the same time providing proper compensation. Last, one must be able to train the person to do the task efficiently. Taylor believed that by using these scientific steps organizations gain efficiencies.