Value Specialist, Leading or Facilitating

Leadership Value Engineering Study Value Methodology Certification

Value Specialist, Leading or Facilitating

Is it really unclear?

It may be unclear as to which role the value specialist should play during a value study. There are many different activities and interactions that take place throughout the VM Job Plan. Where should the value specialist lead and where should he or she facilitate? While there is no definitive answer to this question, as the context of the situation will have a major influence on which role is appropriate, there are some general guidelines worth considering.

The context of the situation will have a major influence on which role is appropriate

What is VM Job Plan?

 SAVE International® Value Methodology Job Plan (VM Job Plan) is A sequential approach for conducting a value workshop used during the workshop stage of the Value Methodology, consisting of the following six sequential phases: 

1. Information, 2. Function Analysis, 3. Creative, 4. Evaluation, 5. Development, 

6. Presentation.

Value Analysis

What is facilitated session?

Value study is considered as a facilitated session. This session is a highly structured meeting in which the meeting leader (the facilitator) guides the participants through
a series of predefined steps to arrive at a result that is created, understood, and accepted by all participants.

Created, Understood, and Accepted by all.

Session Dynamic Status

The following status are normally found during value study in a dynamic fashion:

  1. Monitoring processes
  2. Facilitation Discussions
  3. Brainstorming and evaluation
  4. Eliciting information
  5. Teaching
  6. Demonstration
  7. Presenting

Facilitator Roles during the Session

During these status, facilitator plays several rules, each with specific responsibilities:


From the rousing opening statement to the closing words of cheer, you must ignite a fire within the group, establish momentum, and keep the pace.


You must know the steps of the process the group will execute from beginning to end. You must carefully guide the participants through each of the steps.


You must listen carefully to the discussion and be able to quickly analyze and compare comments and to formulate questions that help manage the group discussion.

Bridge Builder

You must create and maintain a safe and open environment for sharing ideas. Where other people see differences, you must find and use similarities to establish a foundation for building bridges to consensus.


Throughout the session, you must watch carefully for signs of potential strain, weariness, aggravation, and disempowerment and respond in advance to avoid dysfunctional behavior.


Although it is almost always better to avoid a direct confrontation between participants, should such an event occur, you must quickly step in, reestablish order, and direct the group toward a constructive resolution.


You are ultimately responsible for keeping the session on track; this entails tactfully cutting short irrelevant discussions, preventing detours, and maintaining a consistent level of detail throughout the session.


At every opportunity, you should praise participants for the effort they put forth, the progress they make, and the results they achieve. Praise well, praise often, praise specifically.

Facilitation Gauge

Facilitation Gauge

This illustration provides a facilitation gauge for value specialists. Along the horizontal axis is the value specialist’s relative contribution to content. The suggested level of interaction with the group is indicated on the vertical axis. The various types of activities that the value specialist is likely to be engaged in are arrayed along the sweep of the dial. For example, the act of eliciting information during a paired comparison of performance attributes would involve a high level of interaction (mainly in the form of Socratic questioning) and a moderate contribution to content (by demonstrating how the technique works and guiding participants through the process). Another example might be during the presentation of the results of the value study. In this case, the level of interaction would be low (as communication is primarily one – way) and the contribution to content would be very high (as the content is emanating solely from the value specialist).

There are aspects of leadership and facilitation involved in virtually everything the value specialist does; it is more a question of degree. Some groups will be passive and require a higher level of leadership and direction, while others will be very active and motivated and require a greater degree of facilitation. The value specialist must gauge the personality of the group and tailor his or her interactions in a manner that will best accomplish the objectives of the value study.

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Comment (1)

  1. User Avatar

    Great post, I have enjoyed reading it and it puts a lot of perspective into the roles played by the facilitator
    I like the peacemaker analogy 🙂
    Thank you

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June 2024
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