Work measurement is the calculation of the time required to complete a job. This information is used to create standard time requirements for jobs, which form the basis for labor variance analysis. Work measurement can also be incorporated into manpower planning, to determine the likely number of people in each position that will be needed for work in the future. Further, the development of a baseline standard for work to be performed can be used to create incentives for employees to work in a more efficient manner.
Work measurement typically assumes normal operating conditions with allowances for normal amounts of downtime. Otherwise, work measurements will be set at unattainably high levels. These measurements may be derived from historical data or via direct observation.