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23 Function Analysis System Technique (FAST) diagram. This California has enhanced its Job Plan to include additional permitted the stakeholders to visually observe how the VE phases during the workshop (43). The six basic workshop team had delivered the various functions of the project. phases are augmented to include the following (occurring between the development and presentation phases): JOB PLAN · Critique alternatives--VE team reviews the VE pro- posals and groups them into VE alternatives. The team The Job Plan is the defined sequence of study activities that sets VE apart from other improvement programs. Many of confirms technical viability. · Resolve alternatives--review of how the decision mak- the VE workshop activities, such as gathering information, brainstorming, evaluating and selecting ideas, refining or ers have decided to proceed with the VE alternatives developing concepts, and making presentations, are also per- (i.e., accept, accept with modifications, reject). formed on other types of reviews. However, the study of functions is unique to VE. Additional phases are also included for team presentations and external review assessment activities. The Caltrans Value The concept of the Job Plan has existed for almost 60 years. Analysis Activity Chart is presented in Figure 9. It is reasonable to expect that some minor variations might have emerged over time. However, with the exception of the naming convention, the job plans reviewed during this liter- WORKSHOP DURATION ature search were essentially consistent. The Job Plan defines how much time will be allocated to each The SAVE Job Plan consists of three work streams that phase during the workshop stage. In the early days of VE, are performed sequentially: studies were scheduled that lasted 2 to 3 weeks, especially where dedicated teams were used. However, VE workshops · Pre-workshop stage, for construction projects have traditionally been much shorter, · Workshop stage, and with 3- to 5-day durations being the most common. · Post-workshop stage. VM is essentially a recipe for success that requires mini- The workshop stage has six sequential phases (note that mum time durations for specific activities. The multidiscipli- the phases are named in accordance with the SAVE Value nary team must quickly develop synergy to truly be effective Methodology Standard and may differ slightly from those and this takes time. The team has to first understand the prob- used by some agencies) (3). lem or opportunity, and then generate and evaluate ideas to permit the development of the preferred ideas. However, the · Information phase--review of project information to VE team rarely has the luxury of an extensive development gain an appreciation of the issues, concerns, and oppor- or evaluation process owing to time constraints. tunities. This typically includes developing data mod- els that will highlight high-cost or poor-performing The challenge with longer studies is getting the commit- aspects of the project. ment of senior staff. The challenge with compressed study · Function analysis phase--determination and classifica- times is trying to successfully get through all of the VE activ- tion of functions that the project, product, or process ities (14). It is important to recognize the potential conse- being studied must deliver. quences of trying to schedule shorter studies, because study · Creativity phase--generation of a broad range of ideas duration can often influence the quality of the VE study to achieve functional performance. This is typically com- results. This is because the VE team has less time to develop pleted using brainstorming techniques. · Evaluation phase--review and selection of the best VE cohesively, has limited opportunity to perform in-depth proj- ideas by the VE team. ect analyses, and has less time to develop and/or document · Development phase--preparation of VE proposals the ideas. On occasion, VE studies are undertaken in two or based on one or more ideas. Each proposal provides more parts to work around scheduling conflicts or to improve an overview of how the idea is anticipated to work, a access to senior staff. However, segmenting the Job Plan may balanced assessment of its characteristics, and usually affect the VE team's ability to develop the needed synergy includes some measure of cost impacts (first or life- and possibly its effectiveness and/or might introduce unnec- cycle costs). essary delay into the study schedule. · Presentation phase--VE team's presentation of its rec- ommendations to the key decision makers. Evaluation processes can consist of quantitative or quali- tative processes, or even a combination of the two. The sur- Some agencies use a five-phase workshop, with the func- vey revealed a reliance on both types of evaluation processes tion analysis phase incorporated into the information phase. by the responding transportation agencies. However, given
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24 FIGURE 9 Caltrans Value Analysis Activity Chart (43). some of the comments received, it is possible that the ques- agencies, even though they represent a less precise approach tion was not clear enough to the agencies. to confirming the details. However, sketches and hand cal- culations are typically faster and VE teams may willingly The challenge of the VE team is to find a balance between trade off future refinements in favor of extra time during the the time required for due diligence and the time needed to workshop. prepare an effective communication strategy. VE teams rarely have the time to do both. The use of computers in the work- Hunter and Kelly's "Is One Day Enough? The Argument shop is becoming more common for engineering work, cal- for Shorter VM/VE Studies" (44) summarized a study of culations, and visualization of the solution. The use of hand workshop durations, including the results of an international sketches and manual calculations is still prevalent with most survey of the value community. They noted that VE work-