The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is a method based on logic and data. It accelerates one’s ability to research and creatively solve daily problems including impossible-to-solve problems. The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving also provides repeatability, predictability and reliability due to its structure and algorithmic approach. Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues developed the method between 1946 and 1985. Altshuller discovered that the evolution of a technical system follows predictable patterns. Inventiveness and creativity can be taught. TRIZ has helped solve thousands of difficult technical problems and several Fortune 500 companies are successfully applying TRIZ.
Given a good inventive technique, the impossible becomes the possible. The TRIZ approach is included in a rather rigorous step-by-step process, somewhat similar to an algorithm, although not as rigorous as a formal mathematical algorithm. This problem solving algorithm is called ARIZ (algorithm for inventive problem solving). For the past 60 years the research on the algorithm has unfolded in several stages.
The three primary findings of this research are as follows:
- Problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences. The classification of the contradictions in each problem predicts the creative solutions to that problem.
- Patterns of technical evolution are repeated across industries and sciences.
- Creative innovations use scientific effects outside the field(s) where they were developed.12,13
As an international science of creativity, TRIZ, relies on the study of the patterns of problems and solutions, not on the spontaneous and intuitive creativity of individuals or groups. More than four million patents have been analyzed to discover the patterns that predict breakthrough solutions to problems. Research for TRIZ began with the hypothesis that there are universal principles of creativity and they are the basis for creative innovations for advancing technology. If these principles could be identified and codified they could be taught to people to make the process of creativity more predictable. The idea is: Somebody someplace has already solved this problem (or one similar to it). Creativity is finding that solution and adapting it to this particular problem.
Unified Structured Inventive Thinking (USIT) is an Americanized TRIZ term. It is one of such simplified methodologies developed in the United States. It recommends a simple yet powerful process of problem solving. It is composed of three stages:
- Problem definition,
- Problem analysis and
- Concept generation.14
In Japan, TRIZ has been introduced and promoted by the Nikkei Mechanical Journal, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Sanno Institute of Management, and by professor Yotaro Hatamura’s group at the University of Tokyo and in various pioneering Japanese industries.
Ref : TRIZ Journal