Value Engineering: The Intuitive Approach for Perfection
Continuous refinement is the key to perfection. Often, when one finishes a product, they opine their job is done perfectly. However, there is always room for refinement. With changing times, one can always chip away and make a gem of a product. That is what value engineering or VE is all about.
Most organizations and entrepreneurs have realized that continuous improvement is the key to survival. And they have embraced value engineering, which allows them to deliver quality products while reducing costs. The ingenious method which propels quality while reducing costs was first developed by GE executives.
They realized that cutting down on irrelevant components of a product would enhance its longevity and quality. The reduction of components thereby ensured quality and cost savings. But why is this approach in the limelight now?
Understanding the relevance of VE
Ever since the pandemic set in, the world has undergone a paradigm change. Tried and tested formulae had to be rewritten. Businesses had to reinvent their successful strategies as the world was pushed into unknown circumstances. Although value engineering is typically associated with the construction sector, software companies worldwide have imbibed this practice.
The systematic process involves measuring the ‘value’ with swift and continuous feedback. Then, the amassed value is harnessed to perfect the end-product.
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This value is quite important as its deficiency triggers the organizations to invest in frivolous projects which burn holes in the organization’s wallet. For instance, once Steve Jobs left Apple, the Macintosh manufacturer invested in many products that brought no value. One of the first things Jobs did when he returned to Apple was to kill most of them, and we all know how the company fared afterward.
Why Companies Should Adopt VE
According to a study accredited in “How to measure anything” book, 50% of product development is wasted on directionless front-end development, which is nothing but a futile investment. The ripple effects are harmful enough to stunt the company’s progress. From lean ROI to long, moribund feedback loops, the bad product cycles often wind-up becoming case studies on how not to develop a product.
This is unacceptable to any organization as today’s fast-moving world brooks no mediocrity. It is all the more reason as to why the companies of today should adopt value engineering. This perfectionist approach facilitates the company to dump their unwanted weight by tapping into the feedback loop.
How VE Ought to be Executed
One ought not to sacrifice quality while cutting costs. One should strive to provide affordable solutions, not cheap junk which leave a bitter aftertaste. Also, the product’s true essence shouldn’t be lost in the ether. The cost-cutting and quality assurance can be affirmed by running trials or simulations.
However, variables such as time to market, competition, and demand should be considered before running these simulations.
Additionally, when one completes the project, the project team members will often be left with a feeling that they could have gone the extra mile with certain aspects. This stage here is a great chance to introduce value engineering. This creates a beautiful cycle where the team can initiate transformational activities which define new objectives.
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The new objectives encourage the overall growth of the product. Based on the feedback, the amassed growth then fuels the transformational activities. It is a loop that ultimately keeps the product ticking.
Value Engineering Process
Given how vital it is to be ahead of the competition, it is imperative that one ought to follow specific steps to achieve optimal results. Let’s see what those steps are.
- Reliable and Credible Information
In this advanced age, information is everything. Organizations should make ‘information gathering’ part of the value engineering strategy, as information is what brings value to the table. The collected data should be analyzed, and gleaned insights become the cornerstone for the refinement.
The organization should truncate the information into actionable components which become the ingredients for improvement. At this stage itself, one ought to ideate how to improve the existing solution. And, you should also bring forth an evaluation process to assess the health and progress of the project.
- Identification of Function
It is understandable to get confused by the overabundance of the information streaming in through value engineering. To avoid snafus and faux pas, the actionable insights should be labeled by the underlying function.
For instance, if one has come across malfunctioning code, one can label it as ‘rectify code’ and use it for communication. The prefix denotes what needs to be done, and based on these functions, and the organization can arrive at a cost estimate. With the work segregated and cost estimates in hand, the company can consider the following aspect.
There is always a better way to do things. If one suggests such an approach that supports the value engineering criterion (better quality which lowers expenses), one ought to go with that suggested approach.
However, to elicit such ideas, the organization should encourage brainstorming sessions. Be it creative arguments or better logics, one shall certainly elicit relevant ideas to go with.
Additionally, the agenda of the brainstorming sessions should be established by putting forth the functionality objectives. The actionable prefix reminds the team members as to what needs to be achieved.
- Objective Evaluation
It is tough to trim the unwanted weight significantly since the organization helped create the product. There will be various vestigial elements in the software that will bog down the product and increase operational overheads. Once the information is understood, and post-identification of functions and acting upon the insights, one has to look at the actions from a larger perspective with a critical eye.
The company can decide the product’s future by pitting the pros against the cons of any component or idea that arose from the previous aspects. If the cons pummel the pros, then the proposed idea should be terminated, and an alternative should be proposed. The alternative should be subjected to the same drill.
- Developmental Strategies
An idea needs to be built on a sound foundation. Once a bright idea emerges, the team should embark on research and do in-depth analysis on every alternative that has been shortlisted. The expected developmental costs should be firmed up in these discussions. The team should then proceed with the approvals.
After getting the due approvals from all, don’t alter the plan unless it is required. If a change is required, one should keep everyone in the loop and get the approvals from the hierarchical superiors. What’s more is that the team should never impugn upon the value engineering principles. If the strategy is not aligning with the principles, revert to the previous step and start developing a new strategy.
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Companies across the globe are firing on all cylinders to stay relevant. However, time and again, corporate history has proven that giants will fall if they don’t appreciate the change that time brings along. Innovation is fueled only when the companies are bold enough to ax the components they helped create.
In simpler terms, the DevOps team of the company should be prepared to modify the software as per the changing hardware and needs. At the end of the day, the change will be the key to staying relevant, and value engineering is one of the most productive approaches that will lead you there.
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How Veritis Helps
Having catered to the needs of various companies, Veritis left no stone unturned in helping the clients stay ahead of the times. From development to deployment to maintenance, the in-house experts of Veritis keep chipping until the clients are strong-armed with a solution that is robust and relevant. So, reach out to us and let us engineer some value into your promising products!