In the function analysis phase:
• major project components are identified
• their functions are determined
• estimated cost of each component is assigned
A Function AnalysisSystem Technique (FAST) diagram is prepared to help team members visualize the need for and role of each major component. In general, components are listed in functional order proceeding from whatthe design will do, on the left hand side of the diagram, to how objectives will be met, on the right hand side of the diagram.
Project components that are found to make little or no difference tooverall project objectives will become subjects for further investigation in the subsequent VE phases. Similarly, project components with a high cost are also subjects for subsequent VE evaluation.In addition to a FAST diagram, the VE team may decide to compile a project flow chart. This may show in chronological sequence the steps or activities that are involved in executing the project.Alternatively, I have had great success compiling fishbone diagrams. These diagrams are an attempt to list all the activities that are involved in or contribute to specific design components, or endresults. The fishbone may, in additional, list alternatives for each activity Some techniques common to the compilation of FAST diagrams, project flow charts, and fishbone diagrams are:
They are easy to rearrange as ideas develop and different relationships and sequences are identified.
Describe each activity with a verb-noun combination
Examples are excavate soil or treatwaste. Use of a verb focuses attention on doing something and precludes fuzzy wishes and objectives becoming activities. Use of a noun focuses attention on an object, a physical reality, on thefacility or component that is to be changed or affected by the action of the verb.
When the FAST diagram or other activity/relationship interlinking charts are complete, the VE team must decide which...