Value Engineering process

Value engineering is based on a methodology developed by Lawrence Miles, who worked for the General Electric Company in the USA during the Second World War. Because of the war, there were shortages of materials and certain finished products. However, manufacturing industry was running at maximum capacity, and ideas where needed to further expand production. Miles was responsible for purchasing raw materials for the General Electric Company. He came up with the idea that if he was unable to obtain one particular material, then it was necessary to obtain a replacement material which performed the same function.

This ‘value engineering’ began with a creative, team-based approach which allowed the generation of many alternatives to the existing solution. Because the General Electric Company were manufacturers, the term ‘engineering’ was seen as being more appropriate at that time, than ‘management’.

The term 'value management' was also applied as a broad, high-order description which encompassed all value techniques, whether applied at a strategic or tactical level.