Some phases of in Value Engineering

Here the product is defined in terms of its functions, in terms of its performance expectations. These functions are co-related with costs and their worth.

Most of the times, an attempt is made to define functions with only two words – a verb and a noun. It makes the definition pretty sharp. It introduces an element of rationality into the exercise, by trimming the frills. Some examples will make you familiar with this approach.

Some Functional Definitions:


1) Tea Cup
2) Light bulb
3) Gas Lighter
4) Fan Regulator
5) Match Box
6) Mirror
7) Brake
8) Screwdriver


1) Hold Tea (liquid)
2) Emit light
3) Provide ignition
4) Regulate speed
5) Provide ignition
6) Reflect light
7) Arrest motion
8) Transfer torque

Another technique which is used under this phase is to evaluate function relationship by ranking functions in descending order of importance. Simultaneously relative value of their importance is determined.

Paired comparison method is fairly common amongst researchers. It determines numerical value of various functions. Here pairs of functions are compared to know their importance and to assess the degree of variation (major, medium, or minor).

Functions are defined for the products as a whole and for all their components. Functions are either basic or secondary. Generally a product’s basic function is one, but it may possess several secondary. Basic functions can be restated in more ways than one.

Creation Phase:

Lack of Ideas

A survey done in the United States show that most people use less than 5% of their creative abilities. They have hardly any time (to think?)

Most of us want previously tried out materials, designs, processes and procedures. We jump at the first ideas that work and usually do not bother to find out if better methods are possible.

These days to give a fillip to creative ideas brainstorming techniques are used. To nurture creativity, positive thinking is established. Creative ideas are also developed by a number of check-lists and idea stimulators.

Evaluation Phase:

Creative ideas generated during the above phase are screened for their feasibility, cost effectiveness and practicability at this stage. For this purpose, ideas are further refined or combined together. Cost of all ideas and savings resulting from their implementing are studied. Decision matrix can be set up evaluate on the basis of various criteria.

Investigation Phase:

It is a virtual extension of the previous phase. Ideas accepted are here converted into acceptable and workable solutions to perform the desired functions at the least cost. It may be necessary to standardize, to consult vendors and specialists, and to use specialty products, processes and procedures.

Recommendation Phase:

It is the ultimate phase of VA. Finally selected value alternative here in presented for implementation on acceptance. Acceptance is the key to success of VA. Sometimes, acceptance is a result of presentation, or a combination of both. All the relevant data is kept before management to enable it to take suitable decision.

Alternatives of Job Plan:

Instead of the above described method, we can adopt FAST or DARSARI, which is an acronym for Data Collection (D), analysis (A), Record of Ideas (R) , Speculation (S), Investigation (I), Recommendation ( R ) , and Implementation (I). All these steps have been explained above. So let us now concentrate on FAST (Functional Analysis System Techniques) as a value engineering technique.

FAST as VE Technique:

Developed by Charles W Bytheway (1965), FAST is a visual representation of functions and identifies the areas of greatest impact of these functions on costs. It is an interaction between function and cost.

FAST is like a network diagram

The following steps are followed for construction FAST:

1) Use verb and noun for describing functions
2) These functions are written on small cards
3) First select the Basic Function card. Arrange other cards by answering the following questions:
i) How is this function performed?
ii) Why is it performed?
iii) When is it performed?

The logical sequence of functions (basic and secondary) generates a critical function path. It consists of only critical functions. FAST is bounded on both ends by scope lines.