Reviewing the Existing Norms
After this observation, the maintenance and engineering manager of the company agreed to carry out a review of the existing norms immediately. He then realized that there was no one in his organization who was sufficiently confident to make time estimates of maintenance activities. This explains why no one had thought of reviewing the norms until now. I suggested a two-man team be formed to work under my guidance. One would be an experienced supervisor and the other the engineer who accompanied me earlier. They soon realized how simple estimating was if one used real-life experience and common sense. I guided them for the first few items, after which the two of them carried on, on their own.
The review revealed that all items of work were grossly over-estimated; some, such as the de-spading work we had observed, were over by a factor of 4! No wonder that the contractors had "voluntarily" given up the inflation correction for the past two years.
Evaluate Contractors’ Unit Rates 59