TRIZ an Introduction


- KRD Pravin

How do we look and try to solve our problems?


Generally, it is observed that everyone thinks in his circle of intellectual dominance (emotional, intellectual, social or technical). But when our interest is to find out solution for any problem relating to any particular technical field this becomes rather more obvious and clear that we tend to search into our field of expertise to find a better way or solution for anything. I shall explain this with a joke I heard when I was doing my Engineering:-

Once
four Engineers, namely mechanical, Electrical, Chemical and Computer science, were traveling in a car. Suddenly the car stopped and everyone was puzzled. Mechanical Engineer suggested that that there is some problem with the engine. Electrical Engineer suggested that its due to the fault in ignition system. Chemical engineer said "no-no car was making some strange knocking and the problem was with the fuel." Suddenly the computer science Engineer intervened and said that "I think we need to go out and then come in the car (log out and log in)."

The above joke may give you an idea about the "circle of
intellectual dominance" I am talking about, that is everyone tries and looks into his field of expertise for finding solution of any problem.

A new look at same things

This "circle of
intellectual dominance" called "Psychological Inertia", which limits even experts to come up with better perhaps "OBVIOUS" solutions (in terms of expert of other field) for any particular problem or improvement.

TRIZ provides a big leap for experts to learn to look beyond their area of expertise and get a general look at a problem, find a similar problem in other field and its method of solving the problem then customize the solution according to need. Thus, it gives a generalized method for solving virtually every problem in any field.

History

TRIZ is a Russian acronym which means "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving". This concept and theory came in to existence when a Russian Patent Expert Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues studied over 200,000 patents looking for problems and the way they were solved. Of these only a small fraction 40,000 had somewhat inventive solutions; the rest were straight forward improvements.

With these studies Alshuller came up with a systematic approach, termed TRIZ. It was a generalized way for finding out solution of any technical difficulty or for any further improvements.

TRIZ concept in nutshell

The method used in solving problems in TRIZ can be summarized in the following points.

Identifying the problem or finding out opportunity for improvements in the present product, design etc.
Formulating the problem and searching for similar, previously solved problems with an overview to understand the concept of solution.
Looking for analogous solution(s) for presently defined problem or conceived improvement.
Applying the best identified analogous solution.

Thus, TRIZ gives a general concept, for virtually every field, to find out opportunity and solutions for problems or improvement sought.