Value analysis

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Value Analysis ( s value analysis , value engineering ) is a management method that in 1947 by Larry Miles was invented in the United States.

In DIN EN 1325-1, value analysis is defined as an organized and creative approach that uses a function-oriented and economical design process with the aim of increasing the value of a WA object. In the recent past, value analysis has been further developed into value management .


The value analysis is used to develop and improve products, technical processes and other processes in all areas of business, science and administration. By using the value analysis system, a considerable improvement and increase in value of the processed objects is usually achieved, which at the same time is associated with a reduction in effort and costs compared to the original situation. The value analysis is basically carried out as a project and in small interdisciplinary teams.

The value analysis includes the interaction of the system elements methodology, behavior and management, including the environment, in order to find a holistic solution. Characteristic for the methodology is the fundamentally systematic approach in individual work steps, thinking in terms of effects and functions as well as the separation of the creative phase in the search for a solution from the evaluation of the various alternative solutions identified and the final decision for a solution.

The central yardstick for all decisions in value analysis is the term value , which is generally defined by the relationship between benefit and effort, must generally be> 1 and should be further increased through the use of value analysis.

The term value analysis is used synonymously in German with the English terms value engineering and value analysis. Alternatively, there are further opinions that value analysis is the use of value analysis to optimize existing products and value engineering is the use of the value analysis method in development.

Goals of value analysis

The most important goal of the value analysis is to optimize the company's earnings through, for example, a higher profit. This will be achieved through cheaper products and improved processes and services. If value analysis is used when planning new products or product programs, it is called value planning. Value creation is called the application of value analysis in the concept phase. In the case of existing products, on the other hand, one speaks of value improvement.

Both the basic elements described and its “holistic approach” clearly set the method apart from other methods. The application of value analysis offers the possibility of expanding the framework conditions to be taken into account. Interests and restrictions of all affected areas as well as the environment are taken into account. In addition to the satisfaction of user needs, economic and ecological regulations by the state, the company or generally applicable standards and values ​​are also included.

The value analysis deals with the effects of a product, a process, which are formulated in functions . It is checked:

  • which effects the product or the examined process should develop at all,
  • whether all effects that an object unfolds are desired or necessary,
  • whether the desired effects can be achieved more cost-effectively and better with other solutions,
  • what price a customer is willing to pay for the effect.

The value analysis is not only used for existing products to improve value and reduce costs, but also for products that are only in the development phase (value creation).

The value analysis was originally described in DIN 69910. Thanks to the further development of value management with the support of the European Union, they can now be found in the DIN 1325-1 and DIN 12973 standards. In order to keep the procedure as a single one, the VDI has adopted it in its guidelines VDI 2800 to 2806.

The management consultancy McKinsey long propagated a variant of the concept, the overhead value analysis, mainly to reduce personnel costs .

The value analysis methodology achieves goals such as:

  • Development and improvement of products and processes,
  • Time savings through planned and targeted processing of the problem,
  • Increase in motivation among employees by involving those affected in problem solving,
  • Stimulation of creativity through the use of appropriate methods ( brainstorming, etc.)
  • Development of employee networks in the company,
  • smoother, because more understanding cooperation in the course of the projects,
  • Increased know-how among all team members,
  • Team-oriented work according to the rules of the consensus principle and
  • Quality improvements and cost savings of at least 10%, but usually well above (30 to 50%).

Organization of the value analysis

The value analysis contains the following four system elements:

Methods and tools
The work plan is specified in accordance with VDI guideline 2800 (previously DIN standard 69910). Targets regarding the deadline, the quality and the costs are necessary. In addition, the team works across departments. An experienced moderator with a VDI training as a value analyst takes on the moderation and management.
Human behavior of the project members
The team members, no more than 6 to 8 people, should have a direct connection to the product to be manufactured. External experts are called in for matters for which the team has no competence.
In addition, training on the methodology of value analysis is carried out from the start. Holistic, system-oriented thinking is a success criterion.
Management style
The management defines the project goals (mandatory goals). It also creates favorable working conditions for employees and ensures that resources are made available. Management makes the appropriate decisions and acts as a role model.
Environmental factors
The environment in which an organization exists must be taken into account in every single management activity.

The interaction of these system elements and their simultaneous mutual influence determine the extent to which the goal of optimizing the result can be achieved.

Value analysis process

According to the earlier descriptions in DIN 69910 and VDI 2800, the value analysis contained 6 work steps. According to the new descriptions in DIN EN 12973 and VDI 2800 from 2010, the value analysis process consists of 10 steps:

0 preparation of the project;
1 project definition;
2 planning;
3 Collect comprehensive data on the study;
4 function analysis, cost analysis, detailed goals;
5 collecting and finding solution ideas;
6 Evaluation of the solution ideas;
7 development of holistic proposals;
8 presentation of the proposals;
9 Realization.

Below is the old VDI 2800 value analysis work plan from 2000

  1. Prepare project
    The cost determining factors are grouped with an ABC analysis : The factors that are responsible for 80% of the manufacturing costs belong to the A group; the remaining cost-determining factors are assigned to groups B and C. The value analysis should concentrate on the A group, because this is where the savings potential is greatest in absolute terms.
  2. Analyze object situation
    In the value analysis, the costs of a product are related exclusively to its functions. Functions in the sense of value analysis are purposes, tasks and effects of objects. The function and cost analysis takes place in this phase.
    • Function description
    The function description is the starting point for determining and searching for all conceivable solutions.
    • Function types
    The types of functions can be classified as follows:
    Under use functions those functions are understood, which are necessary for technical and economic use of the value analysis object.
    Validity functions are those that do not significantly influence the functional or utilization function of an object. They meet the taste or prestige-oriented requirements. A validity function is required if the customer wants this additional function.
    • Function classes
    The differentiation between main and secondary functions in value analysis makes it possible to separate the tasks that are absolutely necessary from those that are only indirectly necessary. A product can have several main and secondary functions:
    The main functions characterize the actual main tasks or the purpose of the examination object. Your fulfillment is essential.
    The secondary functions identify further necessary tasks that must contribute to fulfilling the main functions. However, they often only help indirectly in fulfilling the main function. In the value analysis study, therefore, secondary functions should be largely eliminated or reduced to a minimum by combining them; on the other hand, they could also be required as inevitable secondary functions of the product.
    The aim of a value analysis is to reduce the secondary functions of a product and to eliminate the unnecessary functions entirely. Therefore, a thorough functional analysis is the basis on which the success of this work depends.
    • Function costs
    The function costs are all costs of the material, production and assembly as well as all planning, investment and disposition costs that are necessary to manufacture the product.
    If these costs are not only to be applied for the functions under consideration, they are to be added proportionally. This functional cost determination is intended to identify key costs and enable cost comparisons. A function cost matrix can be used to determine which cost shares are attributable to the individual functions.
    The results of the function cost matrix provide information about the further procedure for the value analysis.
  3. Describe the target state
    Target functions are determined for the object. These are functions that you cannot do without. These target functions are compared with the actual functions.
  4. Develop solution ideas
    Here solutions are sought as to how the value analysis object can be designed as an alternative in order to be able to implement the target functions. Various ideas generation techniques can be used, such as: B. Brainstorming , brainwriting , Delphi technique , creativity technique , TRIZ .
  5. Define solutions
    In this phase the solutions from the previous step are checked. First of all, the question is whether the specified target functions are fulfilled. The performance audit then takes place. The aim is to find the solution in which the specified functions can be implemented at the lowest possible cost.
  6. Realize and control solutions
    In this sub-step, the solutions are selected, implemented and the results checked.

Assessment of the value analysis

The value analysis can reduce costs and improve performance by up to 50%. The value analysis has proven itself in practice over decades (since 1947). The potential for savings is usually high, since superfluous functions (or function fulfillment) of a product are corrected, new solutions are found and "unnecessary costs" are thus eliminated.

Special features of the function analysis of the value analysis

When analyzing functions, it is important to achieve a degree of abstraction that is appropriate for the object under investigation and the objectives. Too low a degree misses potential innovation opportunities. Too high a level produces no ideas or ideas that are difficult to implement and is also very costly and time-consuming. An example of this is a gasoline pump. The function could be to pump gasoline. However, the degree of abstraction is a little too low here; it would be better to pump liquid. In this way, a broader search field is opened up.

Organizational anchoring of value analysis in Europe

The EGB (European Governing Board of the Value Management Training and Certification System) is responsible for the further development of value analysis and value management in Europe. It currently has 11 member countries in Europe. For each European country, an NVO (national value organization) takes care of national issues relating to value analysis / value management. Value analysis has been further developed in Germany for over 60 years. This is reflected in intensive policy work.

VDI training / qualification value analyst

The training to become a VDI value analyst takes place in three modules. The starting point is the basic module 1, in which the basics of value management and the supporting methods and tools are trained. In modules 2 and 3, the content is conveyed that is required for the planning and implementation of value management projects. Different seminar providers offer an internationally certified EGB training.


  • DIN EN 12973: Value Management. German version EN 12973: 2000 rev. (2000)
  • DIN EN 1325: Value Management - Dictionary. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag, 2011.
  • DIN EN 16271: Value Management - Functional description of needs and functional description of services. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag, 2013.
  • VDI 2800: Value analysis. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag, 2010.
  • VDI 2801: Value analyst / value manager - job description. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag, 2007.
  • VDI 2804: Value-oriented corporate management. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag, 2012.
  • VDI 2805: Method-based project work in value analysis. Berlin: Beuth-Verlag, 2004.
  • VDI 2807: Teamwork - Applications in value analysis / value management projects. Berlin: Beuth Verlag, 2013.
  • VDI-Gesellschaft Produkt- und Prozessges. (2011): "Value analysis - the tool in value management" (VDI book), ISBN 978-3540795162
  • VDI Society for System Development and Project Design (1995): Value analysis , VDI-Verlag
  • Miles (1961): Technique of Value Analysis and Engineering , New York
  • Marchthaler (2016): Value analysis, value management, value-oriented corporate management: developments and methods. Publishing methodical knowledge
  • Götz (2007): Integrated product development through Value Management , Shaker Verlag
  • Bronner / Herr (2003): Simplified value analysis , Springer-Verlag
  • Gärtner (1992): Value Analysis in the Durable and Consumer Goods Industry , Lang-Verlag
  • VDI report (2006): Value analysis in practice 2006 - Secure location with value analysis , Düsseldorf: VDI-Verlag
  • Value analysis literature collection: German and mostly English

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. DIN EN 1325-1: Value Management - Dictionary . Beuth Verlag, Berlin 2014.
  2. a b Marchthaler, J .: Value analysis, value management, value-oriented corporate management: developments and methods. Verlag Methodisches Wissen, 2016, ISBN 3-9817983-0-9 .
  3. VDI 2800: Value analysis . Beuth Verlag, 2010.
  4. Further details on qualification can be found in the VDI: Qualification for Value Analyst VDI