Follow-up is not a subject that is normally taught in isolation. It usually forms part of the INSTALL stage of the method investigation sequence. Even in this context the emphasis is often placed on WHAT should be done - not on HOW it should be achieved.

The WHAT could be "use a ratchet spanner at Station 24". The HOW could be "complete a tool requisition and obtain tool from stores". In a simple example, such as this, not many impediments to installation would be encountered. Or would there?


Here is a list of what COULD impede installation.

(1). No ratchet spanner in Departmental Stores.

(2). No ratchet spanner in Factory Stores.

(3). Ratchet spanners have never been ordered before.

(4). Operators object to using them.

(5). They were used before, but they were all stolen.

(6). No one to sign the requisition.

(7). Planning 'did not agree, the spanners do not last.

(8). Quality Control will not agree, the spanners cause damage.

(9). Safety will not agree, caused previous accidents.


So, it can be seen that even the smallest job COULD be plagued by difficulties and it is in overcoming these that follow-up techniques' help.

Follow-up "Is NOT contacting the same person through the same medium again and again and again .......

Follow-up is taking suitable action in order to achieve an end result,

No set procedure will be valid in all, or indeed even one, set of peculiar circumstances. Success in follow-up depends upon an ability to gauge what action will enable the end result to be achieved.



  The media through which action is taken could be one or more of the following.

(1). Telephone.

(2). Face to face conversation.

(3). Memoranda.

(4). Telex.

(5). Report.

(6). Committee.


For most situations telephone or face to face conversation will suffice, but, if action is not forthcoming other media will have to be considered.

In deciding the method to be used, the custom and practice within the organisation should be considered

This does not mean that they should always be complied with!

It must be emphasised that it is sometimes politic to 'lose the battle and win the War!' to achieve implementation of a minor project at the expense of prejudicing a major exercise would be foolhardy.



The end results to be achieved through using the above media could be:-

(1). A decision. - What is the tolerance? What is the speed and feed? Is this method safe?

(2). A promise of action.- When will it be available? When can we meet?

 (3). To get involvement with other functions and persuade them to exercise their responsibility and authority.

(4). To establish a competent and professional image by demonstrating that viable projects will be installed.

(5). To protect own position by placing on record any action taken and the subsequent response.

  In achieving end results it must be remembered that it is not possible to DEMAND co-operation, it has to be WON. The person from whom one is trying to get action is often the person responsible for installing and maintaining, the results of that action. If his co-operation and involvement is not WON the new system will have little chance of success.


 When planning the course of action to be taken, consider the following factors:-

(1). Be prepared to alter the plan to suit any changes that occur.

(2). Plan the scope of the action to reflect the nature of the problem.

(3). The long term effects of the action on all involved.

(4). The urgency of a satisfactory conclusion.

(5). Type of plan - should it be a hard sell or a soft sell - depending on the people to be contacted.

6). The tone and emotional content of any communication. Should an informal or formal approach be used.

(7). Precedent.

  NEVER "cry wolf". Always ask for realistic completion dates. Do not create false panics. People usually ask for action to be completed earlier than necessary, believing that this gives a margin of protection against non-completion. This is as stupid as keeping a clock fast in order not to miss a train. Most people that have to comply with a request date add on time, knowing that this date is earlier than necessary.

  Initially, difficulty will be experienced by giving realistic completion dates, for they will not be credited as such, but when it is accepted by all concerned, that safety

margins will not be added, far better relationships will be established.



  As stated previously, no routine procedure will suit peculiar -cases, but the following outline is of a course of action that could apply to general requests for action.

Assume that it is necessary for Mr.A N.Other to give a decision on an urgent matter (i.e. a strike could take place within one week if action has not taken place). Mr.A.N.Other, (ANO) is of ET5 status and the person taking the action is a Work Study Engineer (WSE).

The calendar of events could be:-

 Monday 0800 hours. Production Manager calls in Senior Work Study Engineer and sets out problem to be solved.

0830 hours. Senior WSE delegates problem to WSE.

0900- hours. WSE phones and explains the problem to ANO. ANO states he will investigate right away and give an answer p.m.

1600 hours. WSE checks, by phone, and is told by ANO that another 'panic' situation has occurred that has required all his time, but promises a decision by mid-day Tuesday.

Tuesday 1200 hours. WSE checks by phone and is given the same reply as Monday 1600 hours. WSE stresses the urgency and impresses upon ANO the consequences if no action is taken. WSE says that he will check again at 1600 hours.

1600 hours. WSE telephones but ANO is not available.

Wednesday 0830 hours. WSE visits ANO and explains that the Senior WSE is following this problem and that he is requesting an early answer. WSE re-states the case emphasising the necessity for action and requesting an answer by 1200 hours and gets a promise for this.

1200 hours. WSE telephones ANO for report on progress but receives no satisfaction. WSE tells ANO that he will send a memo setting out the problem and send copies to ANO's superior and to the Senior WSE. This is explained as being necessary to make ANO's superior aware of ANO's work load.

1400 hours. WSE delivers memos by hand.

Thursday 1000 hours WSE telephones ANO but no action has been taken. WSE telephones ANO's superior, but he states that he can not spare anybody to deal with the problem. WSE sees Senior WSE and explains sequence of events. Senior WSE visits ANO's superior and explains - to no avail.

1400 hours. Senior WSE, after several attempts, succeeds in meeting the Production Manager and explains the situation. Production Manager phones ANO's superior and urges action.

 Friday 0900 hours. ANO delivers answer to WSE. WSE thanks ANO and apologises for any upset caused.

0930 hours. WSE uses ANO's information and develops solution to problem.

1400 hours. WSE presents recommended course of action to Production Manager.

1500 hours. Shop Stewards seen by Production Manager and strike is averted.