The range of variations refers to the difference between actual performance and standard. In some cases, the acceptable range of variation might be higher than average, in others, it might be lower. The purpose of this paper is to describe work actions in which the acceptable range of variations can be higher or lower than average.
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Not in every case, the output from the work activities can be easily measured. The variances between actual performance and standard performance depend on the complexity of the job. The range of variations of work activities is lower than average when the output can be measured by such parameters as a total number of issues or the number of issues in a day. The range of variations of work activities is higher than average when the output depends on several unrelated factors, and the work lacks distinct structure.
The job of a research scientist can serve as a good illustration of a work activity with the range of variations higher than average. The outputs of the research activity cannot be measured by simple enumeration of works done at a definite period. The activity of the researcher is influenced by a multitude of various factors such as the availability of needed materials and information, the readiness of authorities to support the project, or the opinion of the society about the scientific work. The research activity can have long-lasting outcomes in the future what leads to higher variations.
The work of an artist is another good example of activity with the range of variations higher than average. The work of an artist is often unstructured and depends on several unrelated factors. Painters, sculptors, and writers create their works of art using their skills and the power of inspiration. Both of these parameters cannot be duly documented. It is hard to imagine a table with percentages of artistic skills or inspiration used in a day. The job of artists can affect the society in multiple ways. People pay certain amounts of money for paintings, sculptures, and books, but they are also deeply affected by these works of art. The historical and cultural value of the artists’ work creates higher variations.
As it was mentioned earlier, the range of variations is lower than average when the output from work can be measured by simple statistics. The work on a computer-managed assembly line with minimal impact of human element can serve as a splendid example of activity with a range of variations lower than average. In this situation, all performance parameters can be duly documented and checked in case of any discrepancies. A computer-managed system limits the impact of the human element. The outcomes of the work activity are predetermined as the number of products in a certain period. The side effects of the activity can also be measured.
The difference between actual performance and standard depends on the complexity of the job. Creative work activities with multiple unrelated performance parameters can have the acceptable range of variances higher than average. The job of a research scientist or an artist can serve as an illustration of this type of activity. In the meantime, jobs with all parameters predetermined by the nature of a work process have a lower range of variances than the average. The work with a computer-managed assembly line is a good example of such activity.