Value Engineering (VE) or Value Analysis (VA) is an important and powerful approach for improvement in the performance of the products, systems or procedures and reduction in costs without jeopardising their function. L.D. Miles defined Value Analysis in his book Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering (1961) as "an organised creative approach which has for its purpose the efficient identification of unnecessary cost i.e., cost which provides neither quality, nor use, nor life, nor appearance, nor customer features". Thus the basic objective of VE/VA is to achieve equivalent or better performance at a lower cost while maintaining all functional and quality requirements. It does this largely by identifying and eliminating hidden, invisible and unnecessary costs.
Value Engineering should not be 'treated as a mere cost reduction technique or cheapening of the product. It is more comprehensive and the improvement in value is attained without any sacrifice in quality, reliability, maintainability, availability, aesthetics, etc. It was traditionally applied in the area of hardware projects, such as product design, though these concepts are equally applicable in software projects, in the systems and procedures. Recently these concepts have been applied to nontraditional areas `such as urban slum development programmes, staff welfare motivation enhancement and courtesy improvement plans.
Types of Values
The term `Value' is used in many different ways and is frequently confused with the monetary price or cost of an item. However value is not synonymous with cost. Value maybe perceived as the ratio of the sum of positive and negative aspects of an object. Thus value can be considered as a composite of quality and cost. It is more in terms of worth or utility. Thus a ratio of quality to cost can be treated as the value of a product. If its costs can be reduced for same quality