VMS President Rob Stewart lends his voice in new video on Value Engineering

Rob Stewart, President at VMS, was asked to contribute to SAVE International‘s® short video presentation on the history of Value Engineering and how it can be utilized to create better projects, products, and business processes. “It focuses on the concept of functions. So rather than thinking about what things are, we think about what things do.” This is the core of VMS’s business practice and something we incorporate into our services for every one of our clients, whether in the public sector or the private sector. “That’s where the opportunity is:  to find ways to deliver the basic functions in a more efficient and effective manner.”

Rob also spoke on the value of membership in SAVE International®, which certifies each of VMS’s Certified Value Specialists (CVS®) and Designated Value Associates (DVA®). “[It] is the preeminent organization in the world that… establishes standards for practice, provides educational training, provides a forum for practitioners and organizations that engage in Value Engineering activities to exchange information, to share information and knowledge, and to find ways to enhance the methodology and enhance the profession.”


VMS Value Strategy

The answers to questions like “Why is this the way it is?” and “Why can’t we try a different way?” form the basis of all strategy. Our approach is founded on the tenacity to continually ask why in order to help our clients develop effective strategies and implement them to fully realize value.


Our clients look to us to help them innovate

VMS has the leadership, thinking, and approach to help our clients get the most out of their most valuable resource – their own people. Our clients look to us to help them innovate in the products and services they offer and the processes they use to achieve success.


To maintain sharp focus on total value, VMS adopts a broad vision. Our clients rely on this vision to help identify what is important in order to establish the right priorities. The sophisticated analytical tools and facilitation methods we employ help our clients manage risks appropriately and realistically and make decisions that will lead to better value.


Value Leadership Compass

Our passion for value keeps our clients coming back to VMS for support and direction in achieving their goals. At its core, VMS uses Value Methodology to help our clients improve the value of the projects, products, and services they deliver. The value framework demands attention to performance, cost, time, and risk and aligns these to customer priorities. It’s this framework that can solve virtually any problem and optimize the value of any project. Let us help guide you in the direction of success for your project, process, or organization.

The continued success of our value studies is founded on the ability of our people to create an effective environment for large and small group communications. VMS is accustomed to working with projects that involve stakeholders representing a myriad of entities including military, public municipality, regulatory, and project management. Conflicting agendas and miscommunication are commonplace in such settings, and VMS is expert in providing a structural framework for these challenges to be transformed into opportunities that deliver improved value for the specific project or program as a whole. Our facilitators are trained in a variety of tools and techniques, but at the heart of this are the core facilitation skills of active listening and Socratic questioning. Our staff is accustomed to transitioning between the roles of facilitation, project management, and technically-versed communicator as the situation dictates.

The VMS Approach

To truly improve and optimize a project, our clients benefit most from a holistic approach of analysis and assessment of all of the factors in the VMS approach. This is what allows VMS to deliver solutions that can optimize the value of their projects and business.

VMS services and techniques are structured to address all or any part of the value optimization process and designed to assist at any time from project planning through implementation.

All projects, regardless of their type, have a reason for their existence. This is often referred to as the need for the project. The approach to satisfying the need is referred to as the purpose. The scope of the project is based directly on its need and purpose. How well the scope satisfies the need and purpose reflects its overall performance, which can be measured and evaluated.  These factors all influence the time it will take to deliver the project. All of these factors combine to influence and ultimately determine the cost.  However, because we cannot predict the future, the ultimate outcome of a project’s performance, cost and time cannot be considered deterministically. Therefore, we must consider all of these critical project factors probabilistically under the conditions of uncertainty and risk.


Value Metrics

The ability to assimilate scope, performance, cost, schedule, and risk into meaningful models greatly helps managers make the important decisions needed to be successful in today’s economy. The Value Metrics Model reflects the observations of the project stakeholders and team studying the project. The measurements permit relative comparison and a better understanding of the rationale and merit of the various alternatives.

Our value specialists elicit critical information from project stakeholders, while ensuring it is properly structured to address project needs. This project information facilitates proper development of a value model, which supports sound and logical decision making.

Value Metrics provides a standardized means of identifying, defining, evaluating, and measuring performance. Once this has been achieved and costs for all value alternatives have been developed, measuring value is a relatively simple matter. Value Metrics can improve value studies by:

  • Building consensus among project stakeholders (especially those holding conflicting views)
  • Developing a better understanding of a project’s goals and objectives as they relate to purpose and need
  • Developing a baseline understanding of how the project is meeting performance goals and objectives
  • Identifying areas where project performance can be improved through the VE process
  • Developing a better understanding of an alternative concept’s effect on project performance
  • Developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between performance and cost in determining value
  • Using value as the basis for selecting the best project or design concept

The basic and traditional VA/VE studies performed by our competition reflect just the basic Value Methodology process. The VA/VE studies conducted by VMS are enhanced with the Value Metrics process we developed and continuously refine as new needs, challenges, and innovations arise. This unique process has become the expectation for VA/VE studies from many of our clients today. Through Value Metrics we are able to create a value model through which we can holistically compare alternative concepts and improve project decision making.

VMS’ Doug Leo Elected President of AACE

In AACE’s recent election, VMS Senior Cost Estimator Doug Leo was elected for a three-year commitment as President of the Board of Directors. Formerly known as the American Association of Cost Engineers, AACE is a professional society serving the total cost management community since 1956. Doug currently maintains several important total cost management certifications and designations, including Certified Cost Professional (CCP),  Certified Estimating Professional (CEP), and Honorary Life AACE Fellow (FAACE). He himself was part of  the AACE task force to develop and streamline the CEP certification.

Doug has more than 30 years of total cost management, professional estimating, and project consulting experience. At VMS, Doug has been responsible for preparation, review and validation of conceptual and detailed estimates for domestic and international capital projects ranging from $200,000 to over $10 billion in size. He specializes in capital projects of strategic importance, utilizing new technologies and innovating in parametric estimating methodologies.

Join us in congratulating Doug Leo. At VMS, we regularly see the benefits of Doug’s involvement in AACE for our Project Controls Group, and look forward to many more years of his guidance, mentorship, and innovation in total cost management.

VMSPro® launches with fanfare from clients and consultants alike

VMSProIt comes as no surprise that VMS’ clients welcomed our latest innovation in value management, VMSPro®. The easy-to-use, comprehensive software was rolled out in recent VA/VE and decision analysis studies to resounding success. But more surprising, VMSPro® is piquing interest in business consultants from around the world. In fact, requests for demos have doubled as they discover how powerful VMSPro® can be in helping their own clients with custom business solutions.

To see the power of VMSPro® for yourself, visit vms-pro.com.


VMS primary contributor in VE/Risk Analysis Research for Project Delivery

VMS recently contributed to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 850, which investigated methods, techniques, and tools for the application of Value Engineering, Risk Analysis/Risk Management, Constructability Review to improve project delivery for transportation projects. This study included a set of seven training videos which provide instruction the VMS-developed Value Management System Tool. To read the report, visit the Transportation Research Board website.

VMS President Rob Stewart on the intersection of Project Management and Value

Rob Stewart was recently invited to discuss value management and its role in project management for an episode of the PM Point of View Podcast, produced by the Washington DC Chapter of PMI®. In it, he talks about his impressions of the pressures imposed on project managers to deliver projects while juggling various project constraints.

Rob describes how project managers drive value, but aren’t always the ultimate decision-maker. “Project managers tend to be champions of projects, but they may not always be in the right position to challenge the basic premise of a project,” he says. “We don’t ask why enough; we assume we understand why, when we really don’t.”

Value management – including value engineering, risk management, and performance management – offers a bridge between competing elements and stakeholders to deliver projects.

“You need a balanced platform to make informed decisions and to get the various stakeholders in alignment,” Rob says, “and that’s where value management plays a central role.”

Click to listen to the full PM Point of View Podcast episode, and contact us if you’d like to continue the discussion on how value management is critical to overall project management.

VMS launching VMSPro® Total Value Management System

VMS is pleased to announce the development of its new Total Value Management System, VMSPro®, launching in March 2016. VMSPro® is designed to help organizations manage their internal Value Management (VM) programs by managing the performance, cost, schedule and risks of their projects, products, and services and supporting Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) efforts. VMSPro® offers a suite of invaluable tools, including powerful decision modeling and options analysis; function analysis; risk analysis; creativity tools; VM alternative development; and implementation tracking and reporting. The web-based platform supports both live and virtual teams, perfect for large organizations that are geographically dispersed.

Stay tuned for a more detailed look into VMSPro™, or contact us for more information about VMS’s innovations in optimizing value for your organization.

VMS welcomes new Value Experts

VMS is starting 2016 with a rather big bang. We’ve added to our team several new team leaders, facilitators, and value experts to offer our clients specialized service covering an even more diverse spectrum of applications.

We’re pleased to welcome Jeff Rude, CVS®. Jeff has worked as a consultant, facilitator, and Value Specialist since 2003 helping public sector and private organizations manage and improve the value of their projects and ongoing operations. He is experienced in design and construction, product and service innovation, strategic investments, and cash flow optimization.

In addition, one of our long-time support staff members, April Hiller, has also recently been certified as a Value Specialist and will bring her 7 years experience at VMS to bear as a Value Manager.

VMS is also happy to welcome a new Assistant Value Manager, Allegra Keith. Allegra is currently pursuing a Masters in Organization Development and possesses several years experience at a former OD firm.

VMS looks forward to what will surely be a banner year of providing world-class service to our current clients and reaching out to new ones.

VMS Utilizes @RISK to Offer Clients a Roadmap to Managing Risk on Projects and Programs

Palisade, creator of the risk software and decision analysis software, recently interviewed Greg Brink, VMS’s Director of Risk Management and Economics, in a case study about how we’ve used @RISK software to guide clients in systematically identifying, qualifying, and quantifying risks while effectively communicating their potential impact on the project performance, budget, and schedule.

“Many of VMS’ clients are looking to deliver projects, implement processes or produce innovative products in specific verticals in a volatile and uncertain world. To successfully complete such projects, they turn to VMS to analyze the uncertainty and risk that exists in various projects and to develop risk response strategies and action plans that maximize opportunities and minimize threats. In this capacity, the VMS’ utilization of Monte Carlo simulation through @RISK helps to support the decision-making process, as well as offer a more granular understanding of the nature of uncertainties being characterized. Clarity of the likelihood and exposures of risks can help to minimize delays and maximize efficient deployment of capital resources.”

Click here to read the full case study and see how VMS is innovating in the realm of risk management.

VMS leads VE study to reduce water utility energy costs in the US-Mexico border region

The Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) has become a key promoter of efforts to reduce water utility energy costs in the US-Mexico border region. In the September 2014 issue of Water Utility Management International, BECC, Tetra Tech, and VMS look at how energy auditing of treatment facilities can help identify opportunities to make cost savings. Read the full article here.

Learn more about VMS and #ValueEngineering at #IMTS2014 in Chicago at Booth E3141

VMS Chairman Terry Hays & CEO/President Rob Stewart at IMTS 2014

VMS is proud to share 1.5 million square feet of floor space with some of the best, brightest, and most advanced innovators at the largest Manufacturing Technology convention in the western hemisphere  – IMTS 2014. We’re here to show all in attendance how Value Analysis and Value Engineering can improve business processes, design processes, and of course, the products and services offered by manufacturers, job shops, and suppliers of all types, sizes, and industries. Come by Booth E-3141  to find out we can help you improve your business.