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16 Strengths Funding of transportation programs in general; Maintaining a VE champion; Strengths of VE programs included the following: Program would be weakened without the federal mandate; There are a number of good VE team leaders avail- Lack of dedicated staff resources; and able to lead VE studies--both internally and externally Threats from other initiatives, including asset manage- (consultants), ment, road safety, accelerated construction techniques, VE procedures processes are well-established and and context-sensitive solutions. well-understood, Performing VE early in the development of a project can significantly influence the project scope, Future Needs of VE Programs There is upper management support for VE, and There is the ability to bring the best talent to the project. The responding agencies indicated that, from their perspec- tive, the value community will be able to deliver the VE ser- vices needed. This is an important consideration that proba- Weaknesses bly warrants monitoring, given the changing demographics in the value community. The number of experienced VE Weaknesses of VE programs cited were: team leaders will likely be affected over the next few years, Lack of training or trained staff, owing to retirements, promotions, and the influx of new but Finding VE team members in-house, inexperienced value practitioners. Sharing knowledge gained or results derived during VE studies, In addition, one agency indicated that value consultants Buying into the VE process or even the need to perform needed to continue to develop their skills. It was suggested VE studies, that Module I and II training courses also receive regular Need for better follow-up (implementation), updating to reflect current training approaches. Length of time to complete a VE study, Agency reluctance to conduct VE studies on non-NHS Other future needs identified were: projects, A threshold of $25 million is not suitable for all STAs, Consider a revised mandate, which could revisit the Scheduling of VE studies is often disrupted by the avail- $25 million threshold or expand to non-NHS projects; ability of information, Define best practices in VE, including the best time to Lack of full-time resources, and undertake a VE study; Measuring and reporting the success of the program. Consider shorter training sessions; Develop project performance measures; Consider ways to confirm compliance with OMB Cir- Opportunities cular A-131; Consider how user costs and road safety could be incor- Opportunities for VE programs included the following: porated; and Determine what types of studies best benefit from VE. Focus on non-NHS projects; Promote public confidence that agencies are providing best value; POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Acceptance of alternative methods and products; Expand beyond the traditional planning, design, and Policies and procedures for several STAs were reviewed dur- construction areas to other business streams; ing the literature search activity. In general, the two primary Improve integration of VE with other initiatives such as applications of VE in transportation, at the planning and road safety, context-sensitive solutions, and asset man- design and construction phases, are dealt with separately and agement; and uniquely. Many of these policies and procedures were simi- Improve working relationships with other agencies or lar, suggesting that STAs have freely shared and/or adopted internal departments. approaches to leverage the success of others. The federal VE regulation and policy also served as primary building blocks Threats for the state agencies. Threats to VE programs cited were: In the United States, the FHWA VE regulation mandates the use of VE on major NHS projects. Approximately two- Inadequate training (funding and time); thirds of the responding agencies reported that VE policy was Lack of understanding of, or apathy toward, VE by tech- provided by the federal government (FHWA). In addition, nical staff; many reported that the transportation agency had developed