TRIZ stands for Theory of Inventive Problem Solving and was developed by Soviet engineer Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues in 1946. They studied more than 300,000 patents and discovered inventive principles were often present in the most successful cases. They found that usually when we try to improve some feature, something else gets worse and an innovative solution is required to overcome this contradiction. The contradictions are solved using 4 basic principles to look at supersystems, subsystems, separation of time, and space. For example, we want coffee hot enough to enjoy but not so hot that we get burned, or we desire software that is powerful but at the same time easy to use. The idea behind using TRIZ is that some common principles have been observed in several patents and we can apply ideas to the same ideas that have worked in other areas to the problem we are having and hence come up with an inventive way to solve our problems. The general approach to applying the TRIZ methodology is:
Document the problem that you are trying to address
Translate this problem to a general problem (contradiction)
Determine the general solution based on TRIZ findings
Translate that into your own solution for your problem
This tool can be added to your active workbook by clicking on Project and then selecting TRIZ Solutions.
Click on Analysis Setup to open the menu options for this tool.
A sample screenshot of the setup menu is shown below.
Application Area: Specify from which area you want to see the TRIZ examples.
Share the generic application examples for these methods.
Share business application examples for these methods.
Improving Feature: Identify the feature that you are trying to improve. You will need to translate your problem objective and determine the closest match to the list of standard features. For example, if we want to increase the strength of a product without adversely impacting the weight, then strength would be the improving feature.
Worsening Feature: Identify the feature that will get worse as a result of improving the main feature. For example, if we want to increase the strength of a product without adversely impacting the weight, then weight would be the worsening feature.
Click on this button to open the example file. You can view the example to get an idea of how to fill out this tool or you can use the example as a starting point and modify it to meet your project needs.
Help Button: Click on this button to open the help file for this topic.
Cancel Button: Click on this button to cancel all changes to the settings and exit this dialog box.
OK Button: Click on this button to save all changes and compute the outputs for this analysis.
You can enter a brief description of the problem in the Inputs area. They include the problem statement, the goal or objective of your analysis, the feature that you are trying to improve, and the feature that is getting worse. These inputs are for your reference and are not used for generating the analysis results.
If you click on the Verify button, the software will perform some checks on the data you have entered. A sample screenshot of the dialog box is shown in the figure below.
The objective of this analysis as well as any checks that are performed is listed in this dialog box. For example, the software may check if you have correctly specified the input options and entered the required data on the worksheet. The results of the analysis checks are listed on the right. If the checks are passed, then they are shown as a green-colored checkmark. If the verification checks fail, then they are shown as a red-colored cross. If the verification checks result in a warning, they are shown in the orange color exclamation mark and finally, any checks that are required to be performed by the user are shown as blue info icons.
Click on Compute Outputs to update the output calculations. The software will look up the inputs you have specified in your dialog box and list the solutions based on the TRIZ contradiction matrix. If no solution is available, then you may want to relook at selecting different features/settings otherwise look at other principles to get ideas on how to resolve your issue. If the system finds some recommended solutions, you will need to read through these solutions and then try to come up with how you could apply these recommendations to your case. Make notes on the solutions that you plan to deploy on the left-hand side of the worksheet.
There are no specific results to interpret. You will just need to read through the recommended solutions and come up with your own set of solutions to deploy for the problem at hand. A note of caution is that the solutions recommended by TRIZ only imply that these were used in the past to resolve similar contradictions and are popular ways to solve the problem. There may be other ways of solving the problem and you need to keep an open mind as you develop your solutions. A recommendation for another set of feature combinations may better apply to your situation. Hence, it makes sense to look at all the 40 solutions to come up with your solutions.
Following examples can be found in the Examples folder.
Create a solution for the problem of providing customized service to customers without impacting complexity (TRIZ 1.xlsm).
For more information on this topic, please refer to the following articles. Do note that if any external links are mentioned below, they are for reference purposes only.