4Function Analysis

4.1 Introduction

The word function is a homonym having several meanings that become clear when considering the context of its use. For example, the varying uses of the word function in philosophy, computer science or mathematics. In the context of value management/value engineering (VM/VE), function is defined as a characteristic activity or action for which a thing is specifically fitted or used, or for which something exists. Therefore, something can be termed functional when it is designed primarily in accordance with the requirements of use. There is a close link between function, specification and performance. A service (education, banking, insurance, etc.) is functional when all the energy input into the specified service is focused 100% on the customer; a project is functional when its output contributes 100% to the defined core client business; and an element or component is functional when its purpose in the context of the whole is fit for purpose and 100% efficient.

Accurate function analysis cannot exceed the quality of the project information on which the analysis is based. For this reason this chapter describes techniques for the discovery and synthesis of project information during the workshop phase. The information is that discovered and collated during the Orientation and Diagnostics phase and validated and supplemented in the workshop, by the value study team, in a form conducive to accurate function analysis.

As stated in Chapter 2, strategic ...

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