A tool for innovative problem-solving
Someone, somewhere, has already solved your problem. This is the basis on which TRIZ is built. But what is TRIZ? Is it a tool? A method? A philosophy? We are going to see in the following that the answer to all these questions is “yes”. The reason you may not have heard of it before, is that it was devised and developed in the former Soviet Union, and practically no-one outside the Eastern Bloc had heard of it before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this paper, we examine what TRIZ is and how it is helping users to systematically and reliably create breakthrough solutions to problems of all descriptions and improve your business.
Keywords: Theory of inventive problem solving, solving contradictions, 40 principles
TRIZ comes from the Russian Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatchand and it is a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global literature. It was developed by Soviet engineer and researcher Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues, beginning in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as "the theory of inventive problem solving", and occasionally goes by the English acronym "TIPS". The approach involves identifying generalisable problems and borrowing solutions from other fields. TRIZ practitioners aim to create an algorithmic approach to the invention of new systems, and the refinement of old systems. The main findings of TRIZ are:
1. That the same problems and solutions appear again and again across different industries, but that most organisations tend to re-invent the wheel rather than look outside their own experiences or the experiences of their direct competitors.
2. That the most powerful solutions are the ones that successfully eliminate the compromises and trade-offs conventionally viewed as inherent in systems.
3. That there are only a small number of possible strategies for...