A Business Encyclopedia

Work Measurement

Definition: Work measurement can be defined as the implementation of a series of techniques which are designed to find out the work content, of a particular task or activity, by ascertaining the actual amount of time necessary for a qualified worker, to perform the task, at a predetermined performance level.

The essence of work measurement is ascertaining the work content of the particular activity under consideration. It helps in:

  • Evaluating worker’s effectiveness
  • Making comparison between two methods
  • Developing labour standards, for planning and controlling operations.

The estimated time, needed by a qualified worker for carrying out the task, at a normal rate, is known as the standard time. The standard time acts as a benchmark for productivity.

Techniques of Work Measurement

  • Direct Time Study: Direct time study refers to the ascertainment of the time needed to carry out a unit of work. In this method, observation and recording of time is necessary for undertaking each unit of an operation are done, with a view to ascertaining, the actual time, in which the work can be accomplished.
  • Synthesis Method: A work measurement method, in which the job or activity is divided into various parts, after which the time consumed in performing each element of the job is recorded and then combined.
  • Analytical Estimating: This method of time measurement is used to ascertain the time values for the tasks, that are long and not repetitive in nature.
  • Predetermined Motion Time System (PMTS): In PMTS method, basic times are set up for basic human motions. Such time values are used to compute the time required by the job for its completion, with fixed standard. It is a new and improved version of motion study.
  • Work Sampling or Ratio Delay Method: A work measurement method, in which the work of several employees is sampled randomly, at periodic intervals, to ascertain the proportion of total operations, of a specific activity.

Work measurement techniques helps in preparing realistic work schedules, by proper evaluation of human work. It helps in comparing the actual time taken by the worker, with the time allowed, to keep a check on the workers and avoid idle time.

Steps Involved in Work Measurement

  1. Divide jobs into elements
  2. Observe and record each element, any of the work measurement techniques.
  3. Set up unit time values, by extending observed time into normal time for each unit. This can be done by applying rating factor.
  4. Evaluate relaxation allowance and add the same to the normal time, for each element to get the work content.
  5. Ascertain the frequency of occurrence of each element in the job, then multiply the work content to it. After that total the times to reach the work content of the job.
  6. Add contingency allowance, wherever required, to get the standard time for performing the job.

Work measurement is helpful in evaluating the labour cost. Further, gives information with respect to the estimation of tenders, assessment of delivery schedule and fixation of the selling price.

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