Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
Text size Enlarge Text Shrink Text
Search   |  

Value Engineering

What Is Value Engineering?

Value Engineering (VE), also known as Value Analysis, is a systematic and function-based approach to improving the value of products, projects, or processes.

VE involves a team of people following a structured process. The process helps team members communicate across boundaries, understand different perspectives, innovate, and analyze.

What is value?

Value is a personal perspective of your willingness to pay for the performance delivered by a product, process or project.

Good value is achieved when the required performance can be accurately defined and delivered at the lowest life cycle cost.

What does Value Engineering do?

Value Engineering improves value. On highway projects, improvements to value might include reducing the life cycle cost of an interchange, enhancing safety in a design, or reducing impacts to the public by shortening the duration of a construction project.

Value Engineering uses a combination of creative and analytical techniques to identify alternative ways to achieve objectives.
The use of Function Analysis differentiates Value Engineering from other problem solving approaches.

VE focuses on delivering the product or service at the best price by incorporating those value characteristics deemed most important by the customer.

How does Function Analysis work?

In Function Analysis, an active verb and a measurable noun describe a function. As an example, the function of this website is to "inform reader".

How does VE work?

VE follows a structured thought process to evaluate options. Every VE session goes through a number of steps:

  1. Gather information
    • What is being done now?
  2. Measure Performance
    • How will the alternatives be measured?
  3. Analyse Functions
    • What must be done?
    • What does it Cost?
  4. Generate Ideas (Brainstorming)
    • What else will do the job?
  5. Evaluate and Rank Ideas
    • Which Ideas are the best?
  6. Develop and Expand Ideas
    • What are the impacts?
    • What is the cost?
    • What is the performance?
  7. Present Ideas
    • Sell Alternatives

What are the benefits of VE?

Value Engineering is a tool that will improve your ability to manage projects, solve problems, innovate, and communicate.

A VE program in your organization will provide your staff with a definitive tool to improve value in any product, project or process.

Cost savings, risk reduction, schedule improvements, improved designs and better collaboration have been the outcomes of some of MTO's VE studies.

A typical VE study involves a multi-disciplinary team at a workshop lasting 3 to 5 days. The payback from the investment in VE normally exceeds 10:1.

MTO's Experience

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) completed its first Value Engineering study in 1995. Early successes on highway projects helped to expand the program. MTO now does Value Engineering studies on highway standards, business processes, as well as highway projects. Since 1998, Accepted savings from the ministry's VE program exceeds $150 Million. Other benefits include:

Photo of CSVA awardTypically 8 to 10 studies are undertaken each year. Over 350 personnel have been trained in the value methodology.

MTO's VE program was nationally recognized by the Canadian Society of Value Analysis through an award for its contribution to the advancement of Value Management in Canada.

Success Stories

Many of MTO's success stories have been published in Road Talk, Ontario's Transportation Technology Transfer Digest. Excerpts from these articles are linked below.

More Information

For more information on MTO's Value Engineering program, contact the value Engineering Program Coordinator, Highway Design office at (905) 704-2293.

For more detailed information on Value Engineering, Value Analysis, and Value Methodologies visit: