Improved Work Measurement Program Would Increase DOD Productivity

PLRD-81-20: Published: Jun 8, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1981.

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GAO reviewed work measurement in the Department of Defense maintenance depots.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the local focal point for developing systematic ways of applying work measurement and the associated policy guidance. Although OSD has recognized the importance of this role, it still needs a reporting system to monitor the services' progress in implementing work measurement. In recent years, the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) has been emphasizing the accuracy of its labor standards through a 2-year labor standards improvement program and a subsequent consultant evaluation. However, the emphasis on accuracy apparently has been at the expense of improving coverage. Other problems include recruiting and retaining planner/technicians and other duties limiting the amount of time planner/technicians can spend on work measurement. In addition, more specific guidance as to which workload to cover with standards and more control over local work measurement programs by the AFLC would improve program quality. Although the Army has corrected some deficiencies, it still has problems in work measurement area: (1) low coverage by engineered standards; (2) a 20-percent decline in staffing of the work measurement function; and (3) system integrity. A Navy instruction requires that 80 percent of naval air rework facilities' (NARF) workload be covered by engineered standards. However, this goal seems to be beyond the reach of NARF. Problems include: (1) a lack of accurate labor charges; (2) a lack of qualified personnel; and (3) low quality of the standards.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to redefine the duties of the planner/technician so that more time can be spent on work measurement tasks.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to develop a reporting mechanism by which AFLC can monitor work measurement program results in the air logistics centers.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Army should increase its workload coverage with engineered standards and rely less on historical average for estimating labor requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Army should place a high priority on carrying out its plans to improve the staffing of its work measurement functions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Army should fully implement an effective work measurement system, including improving work methods, labor standards, and staffing and monitoring implementation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to provide sustained emphasis on improving all aspects of work measurement with particular focus on upgrading estimates to engineered standards and providing clear guidance for applying work measurement principles.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to require that Air Force Air Logistics Center commanders improve their work measurement systems by submitting engineered standards coverage goals that are closer to the 80-percent goal suggested by the consultant.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202-512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to develop and implement specific solutions for the Air Force's recruiting and retention problems at each air logistics center, such as special pay rates for affected groups, until the reality and value of pending blue-collar pay reform is known.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  9. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Defense's current regulations call for the services to implement effective work measurement standards. No further action is planned.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense, to improve the quality of work measurement in Army maintenance depots, should direct the Secretary of the Army to act on the recommendations regarding work measurement GAO has made in the past and with which the Army has agreed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  10. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Office of the Secretary of Defense did not concur with the recommendation; no action will be taken.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the services to report periodically on the status of their work measurement programs. Particularly, service reports should address progress toward achieving predetermined goals for workload coverage by engineered standards, trends in staffing the work measurement function, and work measurement contributions to increasing depot productivity.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  11. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken by the agency.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to more accurately communicate to shop labor and management the need for accurate labor-hour reporting so that the advantages of accurate work measurement data are more fully realized.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  12. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken by the agency.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to review relative staffing among support functions within each NARF so that resources can be redistributed to avoid losses in NARF effectiveness because of insufficient work measurement personnel.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  13. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken by the agency.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to require all NARF commanders to set goals for improving their work measurement programs, particularly regarding covering workload with engineered standards and maintaining the quality of these standards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  14. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken by the agency.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to emphasize to new NARF commanders the importance of the Navy's performance standards program and the need for the commanders to support it.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  15. Status: Closed

    Comments: GAO has no information on the actions taken by the agency.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should become more involved in each service's work measurement program to provide timely advice and act as a conduit for information exchange among the services.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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