Meaning, definition and significance of work measurement
Work measurement is the process of establishing the time for a qualified worker, at a defined level of performance, to carry out a specified job. Although not a precise definition, generally it is agreed that a specified job is one for which specifications have been established to define most aspects of the job. A qualified worker is ‘one who is accepted as having the necessary physical attributes, intelligence, skill, education and knowledge to perform the task to satisfactory standards of safety, quality and quantity’. Standard performance is ‘the rate of output which qualified workers will achieve without over-exertion as an average over the working day provided they are motivated to apply themselves to their work’.
Terminology is important in work measurement. When a qualified worker is working on a specified job at standard performance, the time he or she takes to perform the job is called the basic time for the job. Basic times are useful because they are the ‘building blocks’ of time estimation. With the basic times for a range of tasks, an operations manager can construct a time estimate for any longer activity which is made up of the tasks. There are several techniques for establishing basic times. The best known is probably time study.