Value hierarchies consist of two elementary constructs: (1) a consumer need stating what a consumer wants, and (2) value objects capturing how a need is satisfed . Also, dependency elements are used to relate needs with value objects, and to relate value objects with other value objects.

In a value hierarchy, consumer needs and value objects are related to show that (1) a consumer need is satisfed by obtaining a (series of) value object(s), or that (2) in order to obtain a value object, another (series of) value object(s) is needed. By relating needs and value objects, a hierarchy emerges. The hierarchy starts with one or more consumer needs. Considering a single consumer need, satisfaction of such a need depends on obtaining
one or more value objects.