Work study, method study and work measurement


Industries everywhere has been striving hard to discover new work methods and techniques which could help produce goods of required quality at reasonable costs The search has resulted in finding techniques such as work simplification , job design, value analysis and the like All these are collectively called ‘methods engineering’ or industrial engineering’. The other names used are’ work design’ , ‘ work study’ methods analysis’ and ‘operation analysis ’.Methods engineering is closely affiliated with the functions of work measurement (or time study) and method study.

For the sake of simplicity or for avoiding confusion , we use the term ’work study’ which comprises two techniques known as ‘method study’ and ‘work measurement ‘, throughout .

Importance of work Study

In today’s competitive business environment ,it is necessary that the employees work harder, be more productive so that, production costs be kept low to meet global competition. Operations managers have to continuously strive for low production costs ,high product quality and improve every facet of manufacturing .In this direction ,improving labor productivity and reducing costs by improving work methods and simplifying the work, needs special attention by operations managers. To facilitate this, the work study technique (now known as industrial engineering)has been developed over a period of time.

Definition of Work Study

Work study is defined as that body of knowledge concerned with the analysis of the work methods and the equipment used in performing a job, the design of an optimum work method and the standardization of proposed work methods .Work study has contributed immeasurably to the search for better methods, and the effective utilization of this management tool has helped in the accomplishment of higher productivity .Work study is a management tool to achieve productivity in any organization, whether manufacturing tangible products or offering services to its customers.

Work study is also understood as a systematic , objective and critical examination of the factors, affecting productivity for the purpose of improvement .It make use of techniques of method study and work measurement to ensure the best possible use of human and material resources in carrying out a specific activity.