"Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved." (Narayana Rao, Definition of Industrial Engineering: Suggested Modification, Udyog Pragati, Oct-Dec 2006, pp. 1-4.)
I used the words human effort to bring out the uniqueness of industrial engineering among engineering disciplines and also to use the meaning of the word 'industry' which is habitual employment in useful work (The concise oxford dictionary of current english, 7th ed., 1982). My basic aim is to make industrial engineering understandable to the lay people. Of course its focus and purpose are clearly specified.
Today I came across, two definitions which also use words 'human effort.'
Lean production: The pursuit of concurrent improvement in all measures of manufacturing performance by the elimination of waste through projects that change the physical organization of work on the shop floor, logistics and production control throughout the supply chain, and the way human effort is applied in both production and support tasks. (Michle Baudin)
Methods Engineering: A technique used by progressive management to improve productivity and quality and reduce costs in both direct and indirect operations of manufacturing and nonmanufacturing business organizations. Methods engineering is applicable in any enterprise where human effort is required. It can be defined as the systematic procedure for subjecting all direct and indirect operations to close scrutiny in order to introduce improvements that will make work easier to perform while maintaining or improving quality, and will allow work to be done smoother, in less time, with less energy, effort, and fatigue, and with less investment per unit. The ultimate objective of methods engineering is profit improvement. (Benjamin W. Niebel)