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The role of standard data in effective work measurement systems

"We are learning how to play the game vs. keeping score. Having this number or work standard defined is rewarded with a seat on the bench. The game is played with clear understanding of the achievement goal, current condition, target condition and obstacles. Within this, the ability to use work standards to drive continuous improvement drives sustainable gains with a positive bottom line impact."  

- Kevin Francis, Six Sigma black belt and MTM blue card practitioner

Industrial engineering has its roots in time study; however, work measurement is no longer just a time study. Standard data is an integral part of work measurement. The two major categories of standard data are microscopic (predetermined systems) and macroscopic (elemental.) Predetermined leveled times are established for basic body motions, such as reach, move, turn, grasp, position, release, disengage and apply pressure. The analyst may obtain them from published standards in tabular or electronic forms, or the firm may develop its own.

Elemental standard data are developed for groups of motions that are commonly performed together, such as drilling a hole or painting a square foot of surface area. Standard time data can be developed using time studies or predetermined leveled times. After development, the analyst can use the standard time data instead of developing an estimate for the group of motions each time they occur.

For next-generation companies, industrial engineering has become a knowledge-centered activity providing complete insight into the human-process interface. Work standards provide the information and data to assure that resources are effectively balanced with respect to workload. Time, method, quality and the utilization of resources are largely a result of detailed planning and human effort.

Presentations at this event will focus on the best practices in the development, application and maintenance of work standards systems using standard data. Three of the major standard data systems, MTM, MOST, and MODAPTS will be featured along with organizational specific systems. The application of these systems will be featured in healthcare, manufacturing and service environments.