Various Ways to Measure Work
There are four basic ways to set 'standards' for measuring work:
- Estimates (a prediction of the time it should take)
- History (how long it has taken; ‘averages’ from past
- Time Study (using a stop watch; how long it takes an
- Predetermined (time values established for ‘worldwide’
acceptance based on the analysis of motions.
Master Standard Data (MSD) is a predetermined time value system.
We use MSD because it is the most accurate, efficient, flexible, and
economical way to determine time values in most situations.
Why measure work? Management will generally get what it expects
from its labor. After years of using historical standards,
management believes that the company has after all survived and
grown; surely this means workers must be efficient! They overlook
the fact they may have never really known what they should expect.
Historical standards can be a basis for a cost system, but they
are not a good base on which to motivate or to measure productivity.
The advantages of MSD are:
- No operator rating – a skill that an analyst must
acquire that ultimately is the analyst’s opinion of the
- Objective, not subjective.
- Easy to maintain.