Value Assurance is an overarching and pro-active approach for ensuring and demonstrating to higher management that anticipated business returns are being obtained for programs and large projects. Due to a broad focus, Value Assurance does not seek to compete with any of the other techniques, but to harvest their advantages and provide an approach that is all encompassing and strategic in nature. The comprehensive Value Assurance approach provides a balanced, consolidated system for achieving performance gains and delivers significant return on investment, while focusing on lasting results and stakeholder satisfaction.
Value Assurance ensures, and demonstrates to senior management / stakeholders, that the most appropriate aspects have been addressed adequately and that best value for money is obtained within controlled risk parameters. Activities extend across a broad range of activities and timescales, from strategic alignment of stakeholder expectations and business plans, through confirming best overall fit of developing project proposals to optimizing an in-service system or facility.
The process promotes a balanced, “bottom-line” performance approach through equitable treatment of considerations of:
- Functionality, effectiveness and quality
- Output performance (budgetary and scheduling)
- Social aspects
- Security & safety
- Stakeholders’ needs and wishes.
The process and outputs of a value assurance program are proof to senior management and stakeholders, over the longer term, of attainment of best value at the program level, and comprise:
- Strategic choice – the formulation of clear, unambiguous, strategic direction to enable approvals, funding and subsequent orientation of the development/implementation team.
- Value enhancement and continuing value improvement for finessing proposals to optimum quality, functionality and cost parameters.
The tools and processes used include stakeholder analysis, trends analysis, value engineering, risk matrices and registers, scenario building, sensitivity analysis, technology reviews, economic modelling and stage gate reviews at critical approval points.
Key stages involve the following activities, preferably at senior management level:
• Conducting a strategic diagnosis and committing appropriate resources
• Setting value standards, metrics and targets
• Developing value profiles and integration of these to a multi-attribute, value assurance index for measuring and illustrate project performance
• Analysing specific needs, exploring options and developing creative solutions
• Formulating sound recommendations and charting a path through the approvals process
• Implementation and controlling of long-term outcomes
• Monitoring overall progress and adjusting to suit changing conditions.