Editor’s Voice – October 2022

By Anthony Dunams, PE, CVS – Editor, Value World

There is a theme in this issue that is linked through the articles by Michael Pearsall and Ahmed Ali – the people element of Value Engineering (VE).  I became engaged and interested in VE because of the cast of characters around the table at Normandie Farm Restaurant in the suburbs of Washington, DC almost 10 years ago.  I also think most of us would say the people involved and engaged in VE are impactful and the most rewarding part of leading a workshop and evaluating a project.

Michael shares his early experiences with VE and the bonding and camaraderie he had as he engaged and expanded his functions of BUILD FRIENDSHIPS and INCREASE KNOWLEDGE.  I would add another function, IMPACT CAREER, that has been impactful for me.  My route, and I expect the sometimes-circuitous routes of others, has been greatly and excitedly improved by the desire to pursue certification as a Value Facilitator and to engage in tackling all projects where the VE methodology can improve the quality of life for humankind and improve built and natural assets.

Michael also speaks about attendance at SAVE International events (local and national) to rekindle those emotions he had and his desire to continue to attend such events.  I know that my chapter has been dormant, and we are meeting next week to plan out events for the remainder of 2022 and for the first six months of 2023.

SAVE has also been looking to figure out ways to increase interest and attendance at events and the chapters are motivated to meet, to meet differently, and to include other chapters in events that are planned.  As Michael alluded to, meetings are easier to attend (he doesn’t have to drive five hours anymore) so let’s do what we can to make the next meeting in each of our representative chapters a good one to end 2022 well and get geared up for 2023.

Ahmed’s article looks at the fit and establishment of an “effective, high performing VE team.”  I think we all have our ideas on what works and what works well, but I really appreciate his thinking around item three – Set the Spirit of Teamwork.  I don’t think this is stated much, but I am glad he speaks to it in his list of the five key secrets of an effective team.  Our critical role as Value Facilitators is to provide the medium and climate for how the workshop will function.  We need to remove the barriers that may stall solid functional ideas/proposals from being recommend and empower the team to think outside of perceived boundaries, and bring ideas forth from the deep and complex recesses of our creative minds and of our combined individual experiences.

VE always comes down to Function and People and I, for one, appreciate the articles and reminders on the People element from those two authors.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy this issue and are enjoying cooler weather.