VALUE ENGINEERING JOB PLAN CONCEPT
As discussed by Wilson (see David C. Wilson, “Value Engineering Applications in Transportation,” NCHRP Synthesis 352, Transportation Research Board, 2005), the VE process may be referred to as the job plan, a defined sequence of activities that are undertaken before, during, and after a VE workshop. During the VE workshop, the VE team learns about the background issues, defines and classifies the project (or product or process) functions, identifies creative approaches to provide the functions, and then evaluates, develops, and presents the VE proposals to key decision makers. It is the focus on the functions that the project, product, or process must perform that sets VE apart from other quality-improvement or cost-reduction approaches.
The job plan consists of three work streams that are performed sequentially: the pre-workshop stage, workshop stage, and post-workshop stage. As defined by the SAVE Value Methodology Standard (see “Value Standard and Body of Knowledge,” SAVE, 2007), the workshop stage includes the following six sequential phases. The terminology may differ from that used by some agencies.
• Information phase. The team collects and reviews project information to gain an appreciation of issues, concerns, and opportunities. This typically includes developing data models that will highlight high-cost or poor-performing aspects of the project.
• Function analysis phase. The team determines and classifies functions that the project, product, or process being studied must deliver. The team defines the project functions using a two-word active verb/measurable noun context. The team reviews and analyzes these functions to determine those that need improvement, elimination, or creation to meet project goals.
• Creativity phase. The team generates a broad range of ideas to achieve functional performance, typically using brainstorming techniques.
• Evaluation phase. Following a structured evaluation process, the team reviews and selects the ideas that offer the best potential for value improvement. Proper attention must be paid to determining project functions, performance requirements, and resource limits.
• Development phase. The team prepares VE proposals based on one or more ideas. Each proposal should provide an overview of how the idea is anticipated to work, a balanced assessment of its characteristics, and usually some measure of cost impacts (first or life cycle costs).
• Presentation phase. The team develops a report and presentation that documents the alternative(s) developed and the value improvement opportunity.