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Work Measurement - Definition Meaning Purpose Objectives

Definition of Work Measurement

According to International Labour Organization

“Work measurement is the application of techniques designed to establish the time taken for a qualified worker to carry out a specified job (task) at a defined level (rate) of performance.”

International Labour Organization (ILO) stated this important definition of work measurement in its publication.

work measurement definition meaning

Now let's proceed to know the meaning of work measurement.

square Meaning of Work Measurement

The meaning of work measurement is mainly based on three key steps.

Work measurement means to:

  1. Find out the different elements (parts) of the production process (job).
  2. Find out the time taken by each element.
  3. Fix the standard time for performing the production process.

For example, publishing a book is a production process. There are many elements, which are involved in the publication of a book. In other words, book publication involves production steps like typing a manuscript, editing the written matter, proof reading it, followed by printing and binding.

Work measurement involves finding out the time taken for doing each element. The time taken for each element is totaled. This is the standard time for publishing the book. Here, provisions are also made for relaxation, breakdown of machines, etc.

square Purpose of Work Measurement

The uses, importance, objectives or purpose of work measurement data:

purpose of work measurement

The main purpose of work measurement:

  1. Manpower planning.
  2. Production planning and scheduling.
  3. Estimating productions costs.
  4. Cost reduction and control.
  5. Rational basis for incentives.
  6. Performance appraisal.
  7. Training of employees.
  8. Comparing alternative methods.
  9. Accepting new orders.
  10. Fixing the selling cost.

Now let's discuss, "What work measurement is used for?"

1. Manpower planning

Work measurement data is used for manpower planning. This is because it gives information about the total hours required to perform the job. This helps to estimate the number and type of employees who are required to do the job. It ensures that there will not be any excess staff.

Work measurement data also helps to estimate the number of machines and equipment that will be required in the future. This helps to find out the number of employees who will be required to handle these machines and equipment.

2. Production planning and scheduling

Work measurement data is used for production planning and scheduling. This is because this data is used for making production standards. This data is also used for scheduling. Scheduling means to fix starting and finishing time for each job. This cannot be done without work measurement data.

3. Estimating productions costs

Work measurement data helps to estimate the production cost. This is because it gives management accurate data about production time. This data helps to estimate the labor costs. Secondly, indirect costs such as fuel and power consumption, rent and salaries of staff, etc. also depends on the production time factor.

4. Cost reduction and control

Work measurement data is used to reduce and control costs. It helps to reduce the labor cost. This is because it provides a guideline to the employees to work efficiently and effectively. This helps to make optimum use of the available manpower. So the labor cost will reduce.

Work measurement data helps to reduce material costs. It also helps to increase machine productivity. All these steps help to reduce and control production costs.

5. Rational basis for incentives

Work measurement data is used for making incentive schemes for the employees. Incentive schemes motivate employees to work hard. The efficient employees are rewarded by giving them a higher wage rate.

Work measurement fixes the standard-time for doing the work. Those who complete their work within a standard time or faster than the standard-time are rewarded with higher wages. This encourages all employees to work fast and efficiently.

6. Performance appraisal

Performance appraisals are done to find out whether the employees are efficient or not. It is done to find strengths & weaknesses of employees.

Work measurement helps to do performance appraisals. This is because it fixes the standard-output and standard-time for each employee. The employees who produce the standard-output within the standard-time are efficient and vice versa. Thus, it also helps to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the employees.

7. Training of employees

Work measurement helps to train the employees, especially the new employees. It divides the full job into small elements (parts). It gives complete details about each element of the job. It gives details about; how to do each element, the time taken for each element, the machines and tools involved in each element, etc. These details are used for training the employees.

8. Comparing alternative methods

There are many methods for doing a job. Work measurement data helps to choose the best method for doing a job.

9. Accepting new orders

Work measurement data tells us when will each job be completed. So, it helps the company to decide whether to accept new orders or not. In other words, it helps to find out whether the new-order will be completed within a specific time limit.

10. Fixing the selling cost

Work measurement data also helps to fix the selling cost of product. This is because it estimates the cost of production, especially the labor cost. Selling cost is decided after fixing the estimated production cost.

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