Value Follows Function
How value methodology can help project managers excel.
By Mary Ann W. Lewis
company was looking to improve performance
and cost. A GE team started by identifying and
classifying the functions of its products. When
team members boiled functions down to active
verbs and objects that could be measured, they
were able to decide whether each function was
essential or secondary. Defining functions like
this allowed the team to understand products
from new vantage points—and strategize in valuable ways. The company could apply costs to
each function and decide if that cost was really
worth the expense. Ultimately, a methodology
emerged from GE’s work: value analysis.
Value analysis evolved as it was translated from
products to projects and processes. Depending on
its application, it now goes by different names: value
engineering, value management, value planning and
its umbrella moniker, value methodology. It differs
from other management practices in three ways:
n It is based on the analysis of functions.
n It is performed by a multidisciplinary team in
I must perform?
Function-inspired change is at the heart of value
methodology, which can enable project managers
to better understand their client’s value objectives,
meet schedules and stay within budgets. Value
methodology also allows project teams to remain
agile and to “take the chance out of change” by
ensuring that every decision made throughout the
project life cycle ties back to the basic functions
the project must perform.
ACTIVI TIES VS. FUNCTIONS
Value methodology was created by General
Electric (GE) during World War II when the
Getting It Done PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN ACTION