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Work Measurement: Definition, Objectives and Techniques


In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Meaning and Definition of Work Measurement 2. Objectives of Work Measurement 3. Uses 4. Techniques. 

Meaning and Definition of Work Measurement:

Work measurement is concerned with the determination of the amount of time required to perform a unit of work. Work measurement is very important for promoting productivity of an organization. It enables management to compare alternate methods and also to do initial staffing. Work measurement provides basis for proper planning.

Since it is concerned with the measurement of time it is also called ‘Time Study’. The exact examination of time is very essential for correct pricing. To find the correct manufacturing time for a product, time study is performed. To give competitive quotations, estimation of accurate labour cost is very essential. It becomes a basis for wage and salary administration and devising incentive schemes.


Work measurement has been defined by British Standard Institution as, “The application of techniques designed to establish the time for a qualified worker to carry out a specified job at a defined level of performance”. This time is called standard or allowed time. Time study may also be defined as “the art of observing and recording the time required to do each detailed element of an industrial operation”.

Objectives of Work Measurement:

1. To compare the times of performance by alternative methods.

2. To enable realistic schedule of work to be prepared.

3. To arrive at a realistic and fair incentive scheme.


4. To analyse the activities for doing a job with the view to reduce or eliminate unnecessary jobs.

5. To minimise the human effort.

6. To assist in the organisation of labour by daily comparing the actual time with that of target time.

Uses of Work Measurement:

1. Wok measurement is used in planning work and in drawing out schedules.


2. Wok measurement is used to determine standard costs.

3. Wok measurement is used as an aid in preparing budgets.

4. It is used in balancing production lines for new products.

5. Wok measurement is used in determining machine effectiveness.

6. To determine time standards to be used as a basis for labour cost control.

7. To establish supervisory objectives and to provide a basis for measuring supervisory efficiency.

8. To determine time standards to be used for providing a basis for wage incentive plans.

Techniques of Work Measurement:

Work measurement is investigating and eliminating ineffective time. It not only reveals the existence of ineffective time. But it can be used to set standard times for carrying out the work so that ineffective time does not evolve later. It will be immediately found out by the increased standard time. For the purpose of work measurement, work may be regarded as repetitive work and non-repetitive work.

The principal techniques of work measurement are classified under the following heads:


1. Time Study

2. Work Sampling

3. Pre-determined Motion Time System

4. Analytical Estimating

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