On 15 October , Genrick Altshuller was born. The person we are going to discuss is unique. He is unique not just because he developed an amazing science. He is unique because he never asked for anything in return.
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TRIZ is a problem solving and brainstorming technique that has been growing in popularity, especially among design engineers. What is TRIZ, and why is it such a powerful tool for product development and other business applications?
Why is this? First of all, group problem solving and psychologically based techniques are inherently limited by the experiences and knowledge of the problem solvers. No amount of stimulation of any sort can create knowledge that is not there in the first place. The genius of Altshuller and his successors was to recognize that the place to look for the basics of invention and new ideas was not in the brains of inventors, but where the inventions were collected and recognized — the patent office.
As a patent examiner, he saw thousands of disclosures and granted patents come through his office from a broad range of technical fields and his genius was to recognize that, when the inventions were generalized, there were only a limited number of inventive principles being used. This was not recognized by the individual inventors or their industries due to the use of particular jargon and terminology of that particular area of science or technology.
Altshuller categorized these inventive principles in several retrievable forms, including a contradiction table, 40 Inventive Principles, and 76 Standard Solutions. The advent of modern computers has allowed these tools to be stored and used in use friendly formats. These were the inventions he reviewed to determine his 40 Inventive Principles. It turned out that these breakthrough inventions invariably resolved a significant operational or design contradiction.
What we normally do with contradictions is to compromise. Design or operational characteristics that allow a contradiction to be resolved is truly a breakthrough. Graphically, this looks like the diagram above. These 40 Inventive Principles are available in a number of public sources and publications and are constantly updated, reviewed, and extended to application to many fields management, food, social beyond the original applications in engineering and technology, clearly demonstrating their robustness.
In addition to the general problem of design or operational contradictions, there can also be contradictions within a parameter itself. For example, do we want a physical parameter such as hardness or softness to be present everywhere or just in certain locations, at certain times, or under certain conditions?
Examples of these use of these products in everyday products would include bandages adhesives in only certain parts , bicycle chains rigid at the micro level, flexible at the macro level , or time release medications. While looking at the global patent literature, Altshuller also recognized patterns and trends of inventions over time that also allowed inventors and problem solvers to use these principles in a generic form.
There are many of these, but in this introduction we will just consider a few. First, all systems, products, and for that matter organizations, evolve toward a more ideal state over time. Second, this occurs through the recognition and use of system resources. When we study the patterns of invention, we see many repeated examples of systems and products growing more complex over time to meet the needs of users.
We frequently want to immediately jump into the solution space without spending sufficient time in problem definition. A methodical look at a system and its surroundings for resources that can be used for problem solving also requires patience and thoroughness. When TRIZ is imbedded in your blood stream, you will find yourself running toward contradictions rather than compromising or avoiding them altogether.
Inventiveness can be learned and taught, and used to create breakthrough solutions to your toughest problems. Search for:. By: Jack Hipple TRIZ is a problem solving and brainstorming technique that has been growing in popularity, especially among design engineers. The development of TRIZ The genius of Altshuller and his successors was to recognize that the place to look for the basics of invention and new ideas was not in the brains of inventors, but where the inventions were collected and recognized — the patent office.
When the Credit Union of Colorado launched their innovation program, they began by agreeing on a shared definition of innovation. Learn how they came to an agreement on what innovation meant and laid out a strategy for the rest of their program in this podcast episode. Listen Here.
He also wrote science fiction under the pen-name Genrikh Altov. Working as a clerk in a patent office , Altshuller embarked on finding some generic rules that would explain creation of new, inventive, patentable ideas. During Joseph Stalin 's political purges of members of the Communist Party in , he was imprisoned for political reasons and continued his studies with his fellow inmates while in a labor camp. After his release in , Altshuller settled in Baku , Azerbaijan.
What is TRIZ and How can it be used in Problem Solving or Brainstorming?