The PJ (poor joke) above might no longer remain a PJ if banana peel is replaced by a typical problematic situation one encounters in daily routine. The question remains unanswered then: Why do some people find it difficult to act beyond cure? They do think 'Prevention is The Best Cure' though! I was no different from them! But now my journey is gathering speed, hopefully in the direction that the blog is supposed to drive towards. Checkout my other blogs and work at

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Aesthetics Spills-Over Function, Want Spills-Over Need (Part-2)

While I was forced to challenge aesthetic-design of the cup in Part-1 of this blogpost, incidentally I was heading to conduct a workshop on Value: Value-Engineering and Value-Analysis.

Value-Engineering And Value-Analysis

On one hand, increased cost to deliver same-or-reduced benefits-or-function in an offering means reduced value. On the other hand, same-or-enhanced benefits-or-function at reduced cost means increased value.

Making improvements on realizing this re-actively (i.e. after the design is already in commercial use creating trouble for customer) is about value-analysis. Realizing this proactively (i.e. making all-round improvements aggressively while testing the design itself keeping customer in the loop adequately) is about value-engineering.

Modifying design of the cup after a customer faces difficulties (as in Part-1 of this blogpost) is about value-analysis. Launching an offering with well-tested trouble-free design by listening to unspoken voice-of-customer and the impact of the design on ecology is about value-engineering.

Both lead to enhanced value but the later generates more value by preempting costs that tangibly incur in case of the former. The round shaped cup for instance preempts the COPQ (Cost-Of-Poor-Quality) incurred by the square-cup design (as in Part-1 of this blogpost).

Look at the shape of the ice-cream glass in the picture. It's an example of value-engineered judicious balance of aesthetics-with-function. The value in terms of aesthetic shape of the glass without interfering with it's function is designed-in into the offering.

Need Spills-Over Want

Function is a need: the primary requirement an offering is expected to serve.

Aesthetics is a want that is desire-based and secondary or even tertiary in some situations like in case of giving color to food-grains.

A judicious balance of 'needs' and 'wants' is the need-of-the-hour. Rather eco-friendly design of the offerings revolving purely around basic-or-primary 'needs' is actually 'Survival-Need' of the warming-planet.

Most costs to the customer, society, and planet get designed-in due to inadequate designs of products, services, processes, policies, etc.

So designers and leaders should value value-engineering more. They should promote corresponding Kaizen improvements so that need for value-analysis at the cost of COPQ incurred by the customer is reduced.

In fact they should steer their organisations towards finding and marketing 'needs' rather than 'pushing' consumerist attitude and habits towards desire-based 'wants'. Such leaders are the real friends of the planet. Those who nurture excessive wants are in a way burden on the planet.

Greedy-wants push-up unnecessary human activities (non-value-activities). Unnecessary human activities be at personal level or at corporate business level lead to over-consumption of resources. Over-consumption of resources is like raping the planet.

An Exercise

Look at the picture for self-study at a little higher level of difficulty.

It has five different designs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) of a nose-mask. Different designs are expected to serve different functions in different situations. You may like to attempt answering following questions:

1/ Which product-design is designed to serve what function in what situation?
2/ Which product-design can serve what function in what situation as an alternative? Justify how?
3/ In that case, which product-design offers maximum Value? Justify how with likely COPQ?
4/ Which product-design is a case of Value-Engineering and which one of Value-Analysis? Justify how?
5/ What kind of greed-based 'wants' make this product a necessity?
6/ What are the 'needs' in above context? And with what alternatives can we move towards 'needs'?

What are the lessons¹?

1/ Let's change our mindsets to value 'needs' more than 'wants' while designing products, services, processes, and policies.

2/ Let's go beyond myopic vision of running businesses for the sake of profit and visualize profit-for-planet by viewing life-cycles of products, services, processes, and policies as subsets of the evolving need-cycles.

3/ Unnecessary aesthetic sheen while doing so is a want that does increase unnecessary cost. Enhanced cost does force a compromise on functional quality.

4/ Desire for Wants spills-over Needs and in turn spills-over the planet.

Aesthetics Spills-Over Function, Want Spills-Over Need !

Unwanted Aesthetic-Sheen
With a desire to be seen
Maketh a Person Mean 
Hi-Cost-Lo-Function: The affair routine 
Defies the very purpose of Lean
That of making the planet Green

Footnote-1: Reader may add tips and suggestions from own experience.
Footnote-2: The recommendation under Five-S's practice in Kaizen.

Also read a few relevant blogposts hereunder:

Aesthetics Spills-Over Function, Want Spills-Over Need (Part-1)
Aesthetics Spills-Over Function, Want Spills-Over Need (Part-2)
Do you exercise your choice meaningfully
What You See Isn't What's Made
You seem Reasonable if you appear Un-reasonable
Wish To Be Planet-Friendly?: Save! 
Suggestions On-Sale, None-To-Buy
WOW Work-Culture: By Telling or Selling
Eternally Happy: परमानंद


  1. Very true! In today's world, utility is completely overshadowed by aesthetics! I think most of us fall prey to this phenomenon though. Loved this piece! :)