Robinson, Stafford & Rude, Inc.
"The premier firm for project improvement & cost management."

Frequently Asked Questions


If you have questions about the Value Methodology or workshop facilitation, we may be able to answer many of them here. If you need more information about the Value Methodology (Value Engineering, Value Analysis, Value Management) standards or becoming a certified value practitioner, we refer you to the links on our links page. If you would like to know more about us, please visit to our contacts page and call, fax, email or write us and we will be happy to provide you with additional information specific to your needs.

FAQs - Value Management

I have heard the terms Value Engineering, Value Management, Value Analysis and Value Planning; what’s the difference?

Value Management is a term that refers to any of the adaptations of a formal process for seeking out improved value in a product, project or process that was developed at General Electric in the late 1940s. Value Engineering and Value analysis are terms commonly used synonymously with Value Management, and generally refer to the same process. Some people distinguish between the application of the process to products, projects and processes by calling the application to products “Value Analysis”; the application to projects “Value Engineering”, and the application to processes “Value Management”. All three of these applications start with something that already exists and seek to improve its value, or cost-effectiveness in achieving its essential functions. Value Planning is slightly different. Value Planning uses most of the components of the formal value process, but does so to synthesize a solution to a problem or need rather than improving a solution that already exists.

What are the levels of certification in competence in conducting the Value Management process?

The Internationally-recognized organization for certifying competence in the Value Methodology is SAVE, International. It was founded in the late 1950s as the Society of American Value Engineers, and changed its name a few years ago. SAVE International also certifies nation-specific Value Management organizations as having adequate processes in place to issue certifications of competence that are recognized by SAVE International. There are only three titles that signify competence in Value Management. From lowest to highest, these are:

  • Associate Value Specialist (AVS)
  • Value Methodology Professional (VMP)
  • Certified Value Specialist (CVS)

For further information about the requirements for certification, we refer you to the SAVE, International website.

I have read in peoples’ resumes that they are Certified Value Engineers. What is that?

To our knowledge there is no nationally or internationally-recognized certification called “Certified Value Engineer”. This is a term sometimes used by individuals to try to inflate the appearance of their competence in Value Management. It normally means that they have taken a 40-hour training course in Value Management and have a “Certificate”, but have not completed the many other requirements for SAVE, International® certification.

How long should a Value Management workshop last?

The general industry standard for Value Management workshop duration for capital projects is 40 hours (a normal work week). However, successful Value Management workshops are regularly conducted for different lengths of time, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter. The workshop duration should be matched to the size and complexity of the project and the size of the Value Management team. We recommend a minimum duration of 3-days, and have been involved in workshops as long as 2-1/2 weeks. 40 hours is an appropriate starting point.

Value Management workshops for business systems are most often 5 or 6 days and may be divided into two sessions to reduce the impact on in-house staff involved in the workshop process.

Value Management workshops for products vary substantially in length and configuration depending on the specific needs of the situation.

How many team members should be on a Value Engineering workshop team?

The optimum number of team members depends on the size, nature and complexity of the project under review. As a general rule, you should have a minimum of 4 team members plus the team leader to achieve the level of group synergy needed for best performance. Beyond that, the team members should be selected based on the technical specialties needed for review of the major elements of the project, process or product, and based on the number of recommendations for value improvement that might be expected in each technical area. Once the team size reaches about a dozen members, additional factors must be considered for optimal performance.

How many steps are there in the Value Methodology?

There may be 5 or 6 steps in the workshop portion of the process, as well as other steps before and after. The original process developed in the 1940s had 5 steps. The most recent SAVE, International standard has 6 steps. Each step may have one of several labels, depending on the organization, but regardless of the label, the general objective in each step is the same. The steps are as follows:

5-Step Process

  • Step 1 – Information gathering and function analysis
  • Step 2 – Creative thinking and idea generation
  • Step 3 – Evaluation of ideas generated in the previous step
  • Step 4 – Development of the selected ideas into meaningful suggestions for change
  • Step 5 – Presentation of the results of the workshop to stakeholders

6-Step Process

  • Step 1 – Information gathering
  • Step 2 – Function analysis
  • Step 3 - Creative thinking and idea generation
  • Step 4 – Evaluation of ideas generated in the previous step
  • Step 5 - Development of the selected ideas into meaningful suggestions for change
  • Step 6 - Presentation of the results of the workshop to stakeholders

Is it necessary to have a trained estimator on the workshop team for capital projects or can one of the engineers or architects estimate the costs?

We believe that every Value Engineering team for a capital project should include a trained and experienced estimator on the team. During the development step of the workshop, the team will typically develop from ten to as many as 50 proposals for value improvement, depending on the size of the team and the size and complexity of the project. Estimating the cost impacts of this many recommendations within the very short period available requires a level of knowledge and experience in costing that is typically only available from an individual who primarily works as an estimator. Design engineers and architects typically do not have the level of current information or the experience to develop meaningful costs within the short time available.