Use it to find a focus on key areas for innovation.
It is particularly suited to physical and mechanical problems, but can
also be used in other areas.
How to use it
Identify and prioritize functions
Identify the item to be analysed and the customers for
whom it is produced.
List the basic functions (the things for which the
customer is paying). Note that there are usually very few basic functions.
Identify the secondary functions by asking ‘How is this
achieved?’ or ‘What other functions support the basic functions?’.
Determine the relative importance of each function,
preferably by asking a representative sample of customers (who will always
surprise you with what they prefer).
Analyze contributing functions
Find the components of the item being analyzed that are
used to provide the key functions. Again, the question ‘How’ can come in
very useful here.
Measure the cost of each component as accurately as
possible, including all material and production costs.
Eliminate or reduce the cost of components that
add little value, especially high-cost components.
Enhance the value added by components that
contribute significantly to functions that are particularly important to
In analyzing a pen, the following table is used to connect components
with the functions to which they contribute and hence identify areas of
How it works
Value Analysis (and its design partner, Value Engineering) is used to
increase the value of products or services to all concerned by considering
the function of individual items and the benefit of this function and
balancing this against the costs incurred in delivering it. The task then
becomes to increase the value or decrease the cost.