Work Measurement Guide: Objectives, Methods, and Advantages

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Are you concerned about how an organization can improve its productivity? An organization must measure its current productivity level before making improvements.

Measurement of work is a strategy for improving productivity. An accurate work measurement reduces project time and cost. Setting performance standards is facilitated through work measurement. 

Work measurement involves estimating how long a qualified worker would take to perform a given task at a defined proficiency level.

In work measurement, three key steps are followed:

  • Get a better understanding of how the production process works.
  • Determine how much time each element takes.
  • Specify the standard time when the production process will take place

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What is Work Measurement?

A Work Measurement Study is a systematic approach to determining a task’s work content and completion time using industrial engineering techniques.

Work measurement is a way to determine if improvements to a project are genuine. Work measurement determines how long it will take to accomplish a task systematically.

Work measurement uncovers non-standardization in the workplace as well as non-value-adding activities. The following reasons explain why work should be measured:

  • For Identifying and eliminating wasted or ineffective time.
  • To establish a standard time for measuring performance.
  • A realistic expectation is to be used to measure performance.
  • Goals and objectives are set to ensure a successful operation.

Why is Work Measurement Important?

The purpose of the work measurement method is to cover all the work to be measured.

Work measurement involves estimating the amount of human effort required to produce a unit of output.

Work measurement refers to measuring the volume of work completed and the time it took to complete it.

List of Five Reasons Why Work Should Be Measured

Clear and actionable performance measures help clarify and focus on goal setting and objectives and ensure they are achieved.

Here are five reasons why you should measure your work:

1. Enables your growth and development:

Measurement and management of employee performance are important since they allow businesses to determine how efficient workers are.

The measurement of work by itself will not enable growth. It can, however, be combined with continuous feedback to enable employees to self-assess and improve their skills.

2. Ensure alignment of goals and growth of the company

Employee performance measurement can determine those goals by identifying areas where someone is doing well and could be stretched and areas where they are not yet strong.

3. Better understand your company’s performance.

Your company’s performance can be predicted by knowing how well you perform through work measurement.

4. Create a fair culture of recognition

Equal treatment of employees is ensured by work measurement. Employees who are good performers and those who are procrastinators are distinguished, which creates a fair recognition culture. 

5. Identifying and eliminating wasted or ineffective time.

Work measurement eliminates wasted or ineffective time. Measuring work is concerned with reducing and ultimately removing unproductive time, i.e., a time when no effective work is being done. 

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What are the Objectives of Work Measurement?

As the name implies, work measurement measures the time a task or series of tasks takes so that ineffective time can be differentiated from effective.

Objectives of work measurement are given below:

  • To standardize efficient methods for completing tasks.
  • A realistic schedule and workforce requirements can be prepared by estimating the target time for each job.
  • Analyzing alternative methods to compare performance times.
  • Preparation of a realistic schedule of work.
  • Identifying unnecessary activities related to a career to reduce or eliminate them.
  • Assist in the organization of labor by comparing the actual performance daily.
  • A logical comparison can be made when alternative methods are compared based on their basic times.
  • To standardize the efficient process of performing operations.
  • Establish supervisory objectives and measure supervisor performance based on those objectives.
  • Work measurement is used in determining machine effectiveness.

What are the Techniques of Work Measurement?

Work measurement involves a variety of techniques. Here are 6 lists of work measurement techniques:

1. Time-Directed Method

The direct time method determines the time needed to carry out a unit of work. To determine how long each unit of an operation will take, observation and recording of time are required for each unit of a process.

2. Synthesis Method

Synthesis is a time measurement technique used to build Standard Times using previous time studies. Thus, conducting a new time study is unnecessary, so it is economical. 

It provides reliable information about how long it will take to complete different tasks. Since it is based on many past time studies, it is reliable.

3. Analytical Estimating

Analytical estimating is a structured estimation method often used in work measurements, which analyzes a task in terms of its basic components.

It is economical since it uses standard data when calculating each job’s normal time. Also, it helps in planning and scheduling production activities.

4. Predetermined Motion Type System(PMTS)

Predetermined motion time systems measure how quickly humans can perform certain manual tasks in a particular environment.

PMTs are frequently used in labor-oriented industries to determine wage rates, piece rates, and incentive schemes by measuring the time required to complete certain tasks.

5. Sampling or Ratio Delay Methods

The work sampling technique determines the time workers spend in different activity categories.

This technique uses random samples of several employees’ work to determine the overall operation percentage.

6. Historical Data Method

The historical data method is one of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to measure workplace productivity. 

The use of the historic data method has become one of the standard tools, serving 3 main purposes:

  • The purpose of this study is to determine how past work impacts current work outcomes.
  • Modern economic theories can be tested through the use of unique natural experiments.
  • It is important to use modern economic theories to refine the understanding of historical events.

This technique is advantageous because it is easy to understand, easier to estimate, and easier to implement.

Steps Involved in Work Measurement

Work measurement involves analyzing the size of a task, its method of performance, and production efficiency.

  1. Decompose the job into its components.
  2. Measure the elapsed time on the various elements using either time studies, synthesis, analytical estimation, or other methods.
  3. To set up elemental time values, take the observed time and convert it into normal time using the rating factor.
  4. Evaluate the amount of relaxation, physical and mental exhaustion involved in carrying out each element.
  5. Count the time allotted for relaxation when arriving at the work content for each element.
  6. Identify the number of times each element occurs in the job, multiply each element’s work content by its frequency (i.e., how often it appears in the position), and add all the times together.
  7. Contingency allowances should be added if necessary to arrive at the standard time to complete the work.

Measurement of work helps estimate labor costs. Moreover, it provides information on the estimation of tenders, the assessment of delivery schedules, and the fixing of selling prices.

Benefits of Work Measurement 

Organizations determine whether work programs, investments, and acquisitions achieve their objectives in work measurement.

A good work measurement system has the following benefits. 

  • A better understanding of work measurements enables better control over work methods and processes.
  • Evaluate the suitableness of the workforce assigned to an organization.
  • A good management system reduces labor costs, increases productivity, and improves performance appraisal, planning, and scheduling.
  • Work measurement enables the development of realistic work schedules through an accurate assessment of human work compared to plant capacity for production and maintenance planning.   
  • Detailed instructions are provided on how to prepare estimated selling prices and delivery schedules for tenders.
  • The effectiveness of work planning can be determined.
  • Prevents backlogs of work.
  • Streamline work processes. 
  • Simplifies workforce planning through an analysis of actual and standard time. The cost and labor requirements of the future can be estimated. The purpose of this is to provide a framework for estimating and controlling labor costs.

Final Words

For an organization to be effective at planning its productivity, measuring work is very important.

Work measurement is beneficial for schools, employers, and other professionals. The approach discussed above on Work measurement techniques, steps, objectives, and benefits can help you set goals in the right direction. 

Bonus ArticleProductivity planning becomes effective when you follow these steps 📅📅✅


1. What are the elements of work measurement?

Three components of work measurement are preferred methods, time values, and reporting.

2. What are work measurements and examples?

A work measurement involves a systematic evaluation of the duration of a task to complete. 

Training employees, accepting new orders, and workforce planning are some examples of work measurement. 

3. What type of work methods are available?

The various approaches to work methods are given below:

  • Action-oriented work
  • Planning work
  • Procedural work
  • Insecurity work
  • Work that involves problem-solving

4. What are basic work styles?

Some of the basic work styles are given below:

  • Be flexible with other styles
  • Accept their differences
  • Acknowledge imperfections
  • Schedule some face time


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