Liverpool Graduate Student seeks Participants for Research Survey on Value Management in Construction


21 January 2014 – University of Liverpool graduate student Kimberly Westgate at the University of Liverpool is completing her Masters of Science degree in Project Management (Construction & Infrastructure).  Her dissertation topic is Overcoming Barriers to Implementation of Value Management in Construction Firms.  Her research approach includes both qualitative and quantitative methods, including semi-structured interviews and an in-depth case study of a live team as they apply Value Management to their P3 institutional project.

university-of-liverpoolAs part of the dissertation research, an online survey has been developed to gather information about value management in the construction industry.  Ms. Westgate is reaching out to construction industry professionals for feedback about their experiences with Value Management (VM).  She is seeking participants to complete an anonymous academic survey consisting of 19 questions. It takes just a few minutes to complete.  Link to survey here.


The basis for this research project stems from the observation that construction project management teams seem to face unique hurdles in translating client vision into the most appropriate solutions to meet the needs and constraints of the given project (Lindahl and Ryd, 2007).

Despite established processes for documenting and distributing information, projects may be hindered by frequent and disruptive changes and re-work – and potential lack of client satisfaction with the end result – due to poor understanding of the client values, among the team responsible for executing the works.

The researcher theorizes that this may be due in part, to the numerous and sequential levels of communication that traditionally exist in both directions, between the client and the ‘front line’ construction site personnel.

To shorten lines of communication, and to incorporate critical input when it is most useful and practical, the researcher offers that it may be advantageous to utilize a Value Management approach to project management. 

Research Aims

While it appears that existing literature thoroughly addresses the definition of Value Management, and outlines processes for executing this approach, with the exception of Fan, Shen, Luo and Xue (2013), relatively little attention has been paid to what the challenges to implementing Value Management may be, and how construction companies and project teams are working through these.

The objectives of this research are:

  • to determine how many, and which types of construction firms are using VM
  • to identify the barriers to implementing VM
  • to explore ways that construction firms or project teams can overcome these barriers

 Link to survey:   http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e8tq4fi3hqpe7khu/start

Defining Value Management

Value Management (VM) is an approach to project management that brings the entire project team (including clients, construction team, engineers, designers, etc.) together to identify the best possible solution to fulfill the  value objectives and requirements, given the particular constraints of the project (e.g., budget, schedule, space).

VM is most commonly used at the conceptual or design stage of a project, typically through a series of workshops, to work through the process of finding an optimal design solution.

One model, developed by Thyssen et al (2010), consists of four workshops:

  • PARTNERING – to establish open communication and trust among the team
  • VISION – to determine client requirements and establish the value objectives
  • REALISM – to consider feasibility of proposed solutions
  • CRITICISM – to critique the proposed solutions, ensuring that the most appropriate one is selected

According to Hammersley (2002, p. 4), “Value Management (VM) is a systematic and structured process of team based decision making” and is “driven by consensus.” Further, VM “aims to achieve best value for a project… by defining those functions required to achieve the value objectives and delivering those functions at least cost… consistent with the required quality and performance.”

For more information, contact [email protected].