Value-based Engineering

Principles

 1. Principle of Ecosystem Responsibility 

Value-based Engineering organizations embrace responsibility for the values as well as data processing operations of the technical ecosystem in which their system(s) are embedded and in which these exchange data.

They should feel responsible for those system partners that are directly interfacing with them and/or that could be ethically significant. Responsibility implies some control over partners. Control implies that it is possible to obtain access to the relevant partner systems. Value-based Engineering organizations should abstain from partnerships over which they have no control and which they cannot access.

2. Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness 

Value-based Engineering organizations envision and plan their system in cooperation with an extended group of direct and indirect stakeholder representatives.
Feedback from stakeholders is required on value priorities after the system is launched and after that on an ongoing basis.

Any international rollout of a system should embrace the concerns of direct and indirect stakeholder representatives who live in and stem from the world-region in which it is to be deployed.

Stakeholder representatives should participate in the identification of a system’s core values and confirm their expected value quality effects.
Value-based Engineering organizations continue to collect feedback from stakeholders on the value effects of the first and later system versions.

 3. Principle of Contextual Wisdom & Continuous Foresight 

Innovation teams in Value-based Engineering organizations deeply understand the context of SOI deployment and anticipate its evolution. Where feasible they physically explore it. When engaging in context foresight innovation teams consider that the SOI could have a dominant market position.

They should consider context-of-use scenarios at the latest when their system is first applied in a known industry. And they should continue to observe the use context after deployment. Contextual analysis should be regarded as an opportunity to anticipate ethical issues.

 4. Principle of Ethicality in Value Identification 

Value-based Engineering organizations use ethical theories for value elicitation covering utilitarianism, virtue ethics and duty ethics. A culture-specific philosophical framework from the region of the world or sector in which the SOI is deployed can complement the analysis.

 5. Principle of Value Rationalization 

a. Value-based Engineering ask stakeholder representatives to name the values they care about.

b. They conduct a conceptual investigation and thereby an informed completion of core value clusters.

 6. Principle of Wise Leadership 

Value-based Engineering organizations involve corporate leaders in prioritizing the system’s core value clusters.

Corporate leaders should engage in introspection and support only those core values as future system principles that they would want to become universal and are therefore willing to publicly endorse.

Value prioritizations should not be ensured “brute force” by leaders and not without the true consent of the stakeholder representatives.

 7. Principle of Respect for Agreements and Laws 

Value-based Engineering organizations respect that the ethical principles embedded in laws and signed agreements of target markets provide the outer boundary condition for their own action and therefore do not prioritize their own system values over and above these.

 8. Principle of Renunciation 

Value-based Engineering organizations actively consider not investing in a system if there are ethical grounds for such renunciation. They actively consider not investing in a system if there are ethical grounds for such renunciation.

 9. Princ iple of Openness and Transparency in the Value Mission 

a. VbE organizations publish an Ethical Policy Statement. This value-mission statement summarizes the value-priorities committed to in a system and is openly endorsed by organizational leaders.

b. VbE organizations build up an Ethical Value Register that allows project management and auditors to recap over time what the value effects were that the system sought to cater to, and what levels of control were chosen by engineers to address likely value threats. The Ethical Value Register should also contain the names of those who were involved in system design and who endorsed it at the management level.

10. Principle of Value-based Requirements Engineering

a. Value-based Engineering organizations derive Ethical Value Quality Requirements (EVRs) for all core values they pursue. EVRs then drive the long-term engineering roadmap.

b. They anticipate value breaches beyond the law that may harm stakeholders’ life, mental or physical health. In such cases the organization takes a risk-assessment-based design path.

c. They integrate their technical system requirements from the functional engineering domain with the value-risk-control requirements from the ethical domain into one “holistic system design concept.”

They should trace the chain from core values to value qualities and to EVRs in an “Ethical Value Register”; ideally with the help of a numbering system and threshold levels for EVRs where this is feasible. This helps to ensure that system design will later systematically cater to values at the level desired. Also, the ethical thought process remains comprehensive.

Value-based Engineering teams include indirect stakeholders as relevant “personas” in their system design effort.

They seek to generally accommodate a “risk-thinking” in their established design and development processes even if stakeholders’ life, mental or physical health is not at risk.

When Value-based Engineering necessitates a risk-assessment-based-design, then design starts logically at the core value/value quality level.