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Our Value Method Job Plan
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A key component of success in the producing the results we obtain for clients and performance of the Value Method process is the use of a carefully crafted and tested job plan. Adherence to the job plan focuses efforts on a decision-process that contains the right kind of emphasis, timing, and elements to secure a high-quality product. It does this by highlighting and focusing everyone on the involved issues, essential needs, criteria, problems, objectives, and concerns. We use the job plan that we belive has the highest level of success-- the eight-step job plan, that is briefly described below.

  • Selection Phase (Occurs before the formal value study)

This is the first step. Some of our clients have attained dramatic returns from our application of this first step alone. (One client obtained five million dollars for a three day selection effort.)

Almost anything can get some benefit from Value Method use. However, some activities have enough potential to warrant more formal value study use. During the selection phase, we use specialized Value Method procedures to examine activities (programs, processes, projects, designs, etcetera) to see if certain indicators are present. Then we examine the potential return on investment through formal value study application. If it is great enough, we recommend formal Value Method use. Otherwise, we submit our report and include any value enhancing options that were identified during the selection phase.

Usually, formal use means forming a value study team. This value study team uses the value study part of the job plan to examine the activity. The value study generates alternatives that show promise of increasing the value of the activity to the customers, owners, or both. If the potential is high and the client accepts use of a formal value study, we use a another process to select the type of value study, and if any, team. This selection optimizes the resources that will take part in the study. (Each activity needs specific technical expertise and experience, customer and owner involvement, independence, and team facilitation resources to obtain optimum performance of the value study team.) Note: an on-line course about this phase and selection computation form is available at this web site.

Compute an estimate of value engineering / analysis study results on line

  • Information Phase (Beginning of formal value study)

This is the first step in the formal Value Method value study. The individuals have been selected and an expected scope of operations established. Before the first meeting, we identify, collect, and disseminate to the value study participants, all possible information operational features within the scope of the study activity. To minimize resource losses, we make a Value Method preliminary analysis.

Time for the value study. The value study participants examine and analyze the components making up the features and their costs, identify the criteria and limits affecting the activity, and if prudent, ranked and/or assigned values. Now that the activity pieces are in manageable chunks, they examine these components are examined in terms of their function and generate a functional logic diagram (referred to as a Function Analysis System Technique or FAST diagram). This FAST shows the relationship of the performed "why" and "how" and "supporting" functions. The value study categorizes and assigns costs to functions of note. Finally, they identify the future concentration of value study effort. This make sure the client gets the most worth out of the value study for its cost. They use two procedures: identify items that have high potential for added value and items that are present now and have less than optimal value.

  • Creativity Phase

This is where innovation begins. Once the value study determines the frame (value-base), creativity process begin. When a team is present, high-performing team processes are in full affect by now. We usually use at least four creativity techniques. Two brief ones actually occur during the information phase. Two very extensive ones occur during this phase.

The common technique most Value Method specialist use for creativity is"focused brainstorming." But we don't stop there. To generate the maximum quantity of ideas for the development phase (below), we usually add a modified affinity techniques. Three techniques are used within it: innovation, improvement, and avoidance.

  • Analysis Phase

A key feature in our application of the Value Method is that we truly adhere to quantity principle theories. We do this because they pay off. But like so many things, they exact their price too. The price is paid during the analysis phase. The key is to pay this price with techniques so efficient, that they wipe out most of the costs.

During this phase the value study orders, collects, solidifies, and ranks the ideas generated in the creativity phase. Many techniques are available and we are well versed in most of them. The two most common Value Method techniques used for ranking are "criteria weighting matrix and evaluation analysis ranking," and "performance of the function determination and study team consensus ranking." We use these as well as other Value Method procedures.

  • Development Phase

Solving the puzzle is profitableThis is where the value study payoff starts showing up. The really great ideas become "concepts" here, and by the end they are "proposals." During this Value Method phase, the value study participants develop the ideas into the high value return product that typifies the result we talk about and show in our results and clients sections.

What happens during this phase is that the value study participants use a high-product producing activity to evaluate the best ideas surviving the analysis phase. As a part of the process, they make a specialized benefits, disadvantages, and risks. Only the highest-potential concepts are taken further. The Value Method process we use makes sure, as much as possible, that the value study produces the most product for the least cost. Value study participants then develop the concepts that survive into viable, efficient, and cost-effective alternative proposals. Each developed alternative proposal, that is carried to completion, has a high expectation of increasing the value (its worth versus its cost) for the product or process customer, owner, or both.

  • Presentation Phase (Ends the formal value study part)

The best results must be made known or no one will be able to use them. Also, the people that make the decisions rarely can take out the time to fully participate in the value study. Further, that is not their function, the good decision is their task.

The concepts which make through the development are, by definition, displaying "added value." This may be by monetary or non-monetary means. First your value study group place the value study results in a written report. This is so you have a document to refer to and use to make your decision. Next a presentation of the value study results is made of the "alternative proposals." These are the concepts that have sufficient projected benefits, such as: usefulness, reduced cost, increased income, more timely results, and so on; such that they outweigh the proposal's potential disadvantages and risks. (It is rare to find anything that does not entail some kind disadvantage and risk and you probably want to know about it before you decide.)

Now that everyone knows about the proposals, the discussions made in the presentation are used in a final process. This is the last value study check to smooth the final product and make sure you get the optimum product from the value study.

  • Implementation Phase

Sound like a lot of optimizing? We think it is. But it takes little time compared to its worth. It has proven itself many times over. A good decision usually saves far more than it costs to obtain.

Now the decision-maker has to do their work. They have the data, know it has been well thought out, and it is before them in a concise, well presented format that breaks the complexities down into understandable, usable, summary results. It can be used quickly, and it is backed up by supportable evidence.

Only the owners users, clients, and others can make the decision. After all, its your business, customers, client base, and so on that is at stake. But you have the best data and process behind you. During this phase you consider and evaluate the decide what to implement of the value study recommendations. We can help, but only you know all the final issues and details.

Our help consists of use Value Method procedures to document and monitor implementation of the added value features. A part of the process is knowing how it turns out. This means that you establish the final value of recommendations.

  • Verification Phase

This is time for you to help us help you. You have the final status of the recommendations (e.g., accepted, rejected) and the estimates for their added value. Sharing them with us as you go, through feedback, allows us to generate Value Method statistics. We will not reveal your name unless you want us to. These statistics and value study activity results show us the overall effectiveness for your applications, and identify potential process improvements.

If you want, we share the results with you. That way you can learn with us. If you decide you would like to create a value program with your own Value Method expertise in your organization, we will be glad to help; and the lessons we learn can help your people do what you would like to get from your program.



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