Federal government adopts Value Engineering policy to improve program and project value to the taxpayer

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued the final revisions to Circular No. A-131, Value Engineering. The Circular was published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2013.  Program and project management professionals should take interest in this development as Value Engineering is a proven process that can significantly improve program and project value of all kinds.

What is it?

OMB Circular A-131 provides guidance to support the sustained use of value engineering (VE) by Federal Departments and Agencies to reduce program and acquisition costs, improve performance, enhance quality, and foster the use of innovation. Agencies are required to maintain policies and procedures to ensure VE is considered and integrated, as appropriate, into the planning and development of agency programs, projects, activities, as well as contracts for supplies and services, including performance based, architect-engineering, and construction contracts.

Value engineering, which is also referred to as value analysis, value management, value planning, or value control, is a methodology for analyzing functions of an item or process to determine “best value,” or which is represented by an item or process that consistently performs the required basic function at the lowest life-cycle cost while maintaining acceptable levels of performance and quality. VE contributes to the overall management objectives of streamlining operations, improving quality, and reducing or avoiding costs. VE challenges program and project managers, and organizations that provide support to them, to continually consider if they have properly identified the right need, and provides a disciplined and tested process for making changes to plans, contracts, and other documents used to carry out agency missions. The results of VE may indicate that best value requires an initial expenditure of funds in order to meet basic functions at a lower cost over the life of the project, program, or system.  The circular can be viewed in its entirety at:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/OMB/circulars/a131/a131-122013.pdf

How can I learn more about VE?

If you are interested in receiving training, VMS can help. We are accredited by SAVE International and also a Registered Educational Provider through the Project Management Institute (PMI).  VMS offers classes in both e-Learning and traditional face-to-face training formats. Please contact Rob Stewart at rob@vms-inc.com or by phone at (760) 741-1155 for more information.

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