As Frank Bunker Gilbreth was watching masons working, it occured to him that each one was wasting energy. He became determined to find the optimal work method. In contrast to Taylor, Gilbreth is not so much interested in increasing performance as he is in optimizing the work method and workplace design. He began to focus on such things as fatigue-free work and instructing workers in his research. Gilbreth established motion studies. He used for this both film and a running timekeeper. According to his theory, all human motions can be traced back to 17 elemental motions (therbligs).
To calculate the optimal work method he now eliminated every therblig that didn't serve the ongoing process.
Thus was found the raw material for developing the MTM method.
Numerous researchers turn to motion studies to establish rules for the most time- and energy-saving motion sequences. Asa Bertrand Segur succeeded in allocating time values to the therbligs. It was now possible to evaluate motion sequences quantitatively as well. In 1926 he published his work under the title "Motion Time Analysis" (MTA). Segur demonstrated that the execution time that people with the same skill, same abilities and same physical loads need to perform a task depends on the method used.