Work measurement is used to identify and estimate the time-period or duration within which a job is finished, using various methods. In other words, work measurement is applying identified methods to evaluate the time taken for an experienced worker or technician to complete a specific job at an optimum level of performance. The total time to manufacture a product is increased when you add undesirable features to the product, bad operational processes and ineffective time management between the management and workers. As a result this leads to low productivity.
Although there are many methods by which work can be measured, the following methods are the most popular ones.
- Time study
- Activity sampling
- Synthesis from standard data
- Predetermined motion time system (PMTS)
- Estimating: analytical estimating, category estimating, comparative estimating
Time study. This entails the time taken to complete a specific job under defined conditions. The data is then taken and analyzed to estimate the time necessary to complete the job at an optimum performance level.
Activity sampling. This involves random observations of the workers, which are made at random times by an observer so as to identify what the workers are doing during these periods.
Timing. The work is timed using a watch or computerized electronic study board and observation times are noted. The time pace is then computed by the observer and then basic time frames are set for specific jobs. These time frames would then be compared with the time taken by a trained and experienced worker to complete the same job under similar conditions.
Synthesis from standard data. Observed information is fed into a computer to generate mathematical formulae for identifying the time taken to complete a process. Useful methods as variables can be changed to get new results with each project.
Predetermined motion time system (PMTS). PMTS uses measurement units in 0.00001 of an hour or ten thousands (0.0001) of one minute. These can be used to compute short cycles of work that take about one minute to complete.
Estimating consists of three types - Analytical estimating, category estimating and comparative estimating.
Analytical estimating. Results of this method will depend on the findings and experience of the estimator. Using his experience and the context of the work being estimated, he provides an educated guess of the time needed for completing the job.
Category estimating. This requires some experience as well as a good know-how about the job. Generally, estimators provide range estimates which are computed statistically, rather than providing probable analytical estimates.
Comparative estimating. This is another form of range estimation. Generally, the work that is to be estimated is compared with similar jobs, until the best fit is found.
Work measurement is concerned with investigating, reducing and eliminating ineffective use of time, whatever may be the cause. Once ineffective time shows up in a series of processes and operations, it can be separated and removed. Setting standards of performance is attainable only if all avoidable ineffective time is eliminated and work is performed through the best means available.