Activities are what the person, system, process is doing at the instant of observation. We want to keep the activity list as short as possible since the more activities the more observations needed to get the same accuracy.

One way is to start with an empty list and write the activities down as observed. Another way is to start with one of the templates below (already loaded by ISampler on your iPhone). Edit the list until it is as short as possible but covers the activities that you want to study.

A great idea is that you can increase the detail when you are studing specific areas (such as a study of just waiting time where you list activities like waiting for a crane, waiting for an electrician, etc.) but keep it more general for general studies.

Examples of Activity Templates

Maintenance template

Activity Work Category
Working with tools Direct work
Removing or replacing parts or materials Direct work
Receiving instructions Indirect work
Obtaining tools, parts, and materials Indirect work
Travel to and from job sites Indirect work
Coordinating Delays Indirect work
Idle at job site Indirect work
Late starts and early quits Indirect work
Authorized breaks and relief Indirect work
Excessive personal time Indirect work
Other direct work Direct work
Other indirect work Indirect work

Warehouse template

Activity Work category
Load/Unload truck Direct work
Stage Direct work
Pull Direct work
Pack/Palletize Direct work
Transport Direct work
Testing & Inspection Direct work
Rework Direct work
Other direct work Direct work
Walk/check materials Indirect work
Communication Indirect work
Paperwork/Computer Indirect work
Unpack/Repack Indirect work
Clean – up Indirect work
Drive/walk empty Indirect work
Waiting time Indirect work
Scheduled Break Indirect work
Personal Time Indirect work
Other indirect work Indirect work

Nurse template

Activity Work category
Admission/Assessment Direct work
Administration of medication/IV therapy Direct work
Hygiene Direct work
Specialized procedures Direct work
Specimen collecting/testing Direct work
Transporting patients Direct work
Patient/family interaction Direct work
Patient nutrition/elimination Direct work
Patient mobility Direct work
Assisting with procedures Direct work
Verbal report and handover Indirect work
Room/Equipment set-up Indirect work
Medication/IV preparation Indirect work
Progress/Discharge notes Indirect work
Rounds and team meetings Indirect work
Communication of information Indirect work
Data entry and retrieval Indirect work
Interaction with other departments or agencies Indirect work
Educational activities Indirect work
Checking and restocking supplies Indirect work
Errands off unit Indirect work
Meetings and administration Indirect work
Clerical duties Indirect work
Environmental cleaning Indirect work
Personal time Indirect work