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TRIZ: The Perfect Tool for Problem Solving

TRIZ: The Perfect Tool for Problem Solving

TRIZ: The Tool to Solve Your Problems

If not full of them, life acquires a chunk of problems that exist with solutions. Triz problem-solving technique is one of the effective ways to understand a problem and work towards generating creative ideas in order to reach a solution.

However, Triz problem solving demands the individual or team to have clarity in terms of the problem for which they need a solution.  Additionally, the problems and solutions under this approach are based on three basic principles. These are – repeatability, predictability, and reliability.

Thus, Triz helps solve problems by logic rather than intuition. It gathers the knowledge of the past when similar problems occurred. Then, it applies a similar approach to solve the current problem and reaches a specific solution. It uses various other tools to solve problems. Read on to find out more.

What is Triz?

Triz is the Russian acronym for ‘Teorya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch.’ The literal meaning of the same is ‘Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.’ It is an international system of problems and solutions that are based on logic, data, and research. Originally developed in Soviet Union between 1946 and 1985 by an engineer Genrich Altshuller.

Genrich was of the opinion that a logical process should be maintained to find standard solutions. Also, he was not able to accept that creativity and inventions were totally random or co-incidences. Thus, he concluded that approximately 98% of all the problems have existing solutions. Only 2% problems needed a fresh solution.

Why Does Triz Work?

He also reckoned that Triz’s drive to solve problems of any kind is uncanny. The best part is that this inventive problem-solving approach is universally-acceptable. In fact, big companies, such as Boeing and Samsung have immersed themselves in learning its tools and processes to increase their profits and sales.

The basic concept is based on the opinion that whatever problem that you or your team is facing, it has been dealt with before. The main task is to find that solution and adapt the same for your current problem. In most cases, this theory of inventive problem provides a definite solution.

Triz research generally helps industries related to product developments, design engineering, process management, etc.

NOTE
Do not go by its name. Triz is quite a simple and easy tool. All you need is a little understanding of the concept and its tool, and soon you will find the technique of working through any problem.

This is not it, even if you come across an impossible situation, this amazing technique will help you overcome it in no time. With its innovative concept and progressive analysis, Triz, along with its tools is absolutely a must-have technique for this generation.

TRIZ: The Perfect Tool for Problem Solving
TRIZ: The Perfect Tool for Problem Solving

5 Basic Principles of TRIZ

Triz currently involves 40 inventive principles and 5 basic principles. Let’s focus on these principles individually.

1. Be open to new ideas

Triz problems force us to think out-of-the-box. This drives individuals to be open to fresh ideas. But the application of the solution is adapted from a problem that existed before. Even so, the approach used is fresh and different from the previous one in a way.

2. Less is more

It is not necessary that you must spend a bucket full of money to make an idea come to life. Or to solve the problem to reach a solution. All you need is an innovative approach and a handful of the required material to reach the solution.

3. There is always a solution

The solutions provided by Triz are based on previously solved problems and specific principles. In a way, this proves that there is always a solution to every problem. No matter what.

4. Defining fundamental contradictions

Problem-solving gives way to a bit of contradiction. This contradiction, when defined clearly, brings out the ultimate solution.

NOTE
There can be contradictions within a parameter of separate principles as well. It is a breakthrough to resolve any kind of contradiction though.

5. Evolution is the key 

When old systems are challenged to get to a possible solution, there will be an evolution of old patterns with new concepts. In any case, the purpose is to be inventive and reach a definite solution. 


Now that we are done with the 5 basic principles, it’s time to go for the 40 inventive principles.

40 Inventive Principles

As per Altshuller, each innovation can be derived from each or any application of these 40 innovative principles. However, the main focus of the team working on Triz problems shouldn’t focus only on innovation or formulating contradictions. The prime objective should be solving real-world problems at the lowest cost using inventive measures.

These 40 principles help to do the same.

Segmentation

Divide an object into two or more parts to increase its value. For example, garden sprinklers, divide a particular market into two fields before carrying out the analysis, etc.

Extraction

This inventive principle can also be referred to as taking out. This principle involves extracting the negative or disturbing part, such as split air-conditioner and TV remote.

Local quality

Changing the shape or structure of products or parts of them in a particular place. This is done for improving the product. For instance, a cap on a milk carton, local anesthesia, demography-based A

Asymmetry

It involves changing the shape of the product from symmetrical to asymmetrical. It’s all about changing the degree. This principle is often used in the fashion and architecture industry.

Merging and consolidation

This principle is complementary to segmentation. Bringing similar objects or identical parts of the product. This will make the operations contiguous or parallel. A few examples of this principle include globalization, company mergers, and libraries.

Universality

Under this principle, the single part functions or controls the functions of the rest of the product. The best example of this product is the laptop.

Nesting

One needs to place many objects inside another object. Insulated coffee cups is one such example. Aircraft wings carrying fuel for low weight design is another example of the same.

Anti-weight

The principle of anti-weight is also known as a counterweight. It involves compensating the weight of an object by combining it with another object. The second object is able to provide a lift. Another principle is when the weight of an object is compensated. This is done in order to make it interact with the environment.

Preliminary anti-action

When an important action has to be performed but it has both negative and positive effects, then this action should be replaced with anti-actions to avoid the negative or harmful effects.

Preliminary action

It involves the performance of a change in advance within an object. Tinned food and instant ready and packaged food are two brilliant examples of this principle.

Beforehand cushioning

Prepare for an emergency beforehand to compensate for the low reliability of the object. Life insurance is a good example of the same.

Equipotentiality

Just like in the case of cling film, this principle suggests the elimination of tension in and around the objective’s environment.

The other way around

This principle implements an opposite action or reverse way of acting.

Spheroidality

It involves movement to spherical places from flat ones. One example of this is the igloo house.

Dynamics

At every stage of operation for optimal performance, the object and its environment need to be changed. Contact lenses and ballpoints of a ballpoint pen are good examples of this principle.

Excessive or partial actions

It implies that you should go for satisfactory results if you cannot expect the best result from a task. For instance, one can use extra plaster for the wall rather than smoothening it.

Transition into another dimension

A different approach or dimension is pursued under this principle. This is done to change the orientation of a liner product from vertical to horizontal.

Mechanical vibrations

Create or find positive effects with the help of mechanical vibrations.

Periodic action

Just like an electric toothbrush, one should use pulsating actions instead of a continuous one under this principle.

Continuity

This implies that you should work continuously. This is done in order to eliminate all intermittent or no actions.

Rushing through

It requires conducting a process or operation at a high speed.

Blessing in disguise

Utilize the harmful effects of an object. This will help bring out the positive effects on the environment. One example of the same is converting manure to fertilizer.

Feedback

Bring feedback into action in order to improve a process or action.

Intermediary

It requires the merging of one object with another temporarily.

Self-service

Make an object work for itself or serve itself by performing an auxiliary function. One example of this principle is self-checkout at supermarkets.

Copying

It involves the replacement of fragile objects with inexpensive copies. Zirconia jewelry and fake art are a few examples of the same.

Cheap objects

Replace a single expensive object with multiple inexpensive objects.

Replacing mechanical objects

It calls for replacing a mechanical object with a different approach. This is done in terms of shape and function. A simple example of the same is folding electric bikes.

Pneumatics and hydraulics

It is simply a replacement of solid parts with pneumatic and hydraulic parts. One fine example of this is barber chairs.

Flexible shells

It involves replacing traditional construction tools and methods with flexible ones. Examples of this include water repellents, breathable sports clothing, etc.

Porous materials

It involves making an object porous or adding porous elements. For instance, inserts and coatings.  

Color changes

It basically involves changing the color of an object or its environment. Litmus paper is a good example of the same.

Homogeneity

Objects that interact with another object should be of the same quality and material.

Discarding and recovering

Storing the used objects (after they have performed their functions) for future use is what this principle is based on.

Parameter changes

It plainly requires changing the properties of an object.

Phase transitions

It’s the activity that takes place at the time of a transitional phase. One such example is pregnancy tests.

Thermal expansion

It simply regulates the conversion of heat energy to mechanical energy. For example, solar panels.

Strong oxidants

It involves the replacement of common air with oxygen-enriched and pure air. 

Inert atmosphere

It involves the replacement of a neutral environment to support a desired or wanted function

Composite materials

It involves a transformation from homogenous material to the composite material. One example of this is the thermos flask.

Closing Thoughts

These principles inspire as well as challenge us to look at the problems differently. However, there should be a limit to each session. This is because the method is meant only for creative individuals.

Nonetheless, it is quite an innovative way to reach a resolution. Triz has successfully passed through the space-time test and is still one of the best problem-solving solutions.

For more info on Triz, you can check out this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GNn6FyU6x0

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