26 May 2011

TRIZ 40 Principles

If you're not familiar with Genrich Altshuller's Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (aka TRIZ), today might be a good day to check it out.

TRIZ is a fascinating tool set, designed to help people solve a wide range of problems. Initially focused on technical / hardware type challenges, it has since been expanded to apply to everything from software to services.

Of particular interest is the list of 40 Principles, each of which is a known solution to a particular type of problem. The contradiction matrix (pictured) helps you identify which principle is likely to be helpful & relevant to your situation.

For example, Principle 1 is "Segmentation," which involves dividing an object into independent parts. Examples include modular furniture, personal computers (instead of a mainframe) or a Work Breakdown Structure.

The TRIZ40 website has a great little box with dropdown menus to help you navigate the matrix. For example, you may have a situation where you want to increase the strength of a component without increasing the weight. It will automatically pull up the four Principles that typically help in a situation like that.

Like any tool, mastery of TRIZ takes time and effort. But in my opinion, it's well worth examining.


Global Consulting Services Chile said...

Great TRIZ post and great blog! And Godspeed for Afghanistan!

The Dan Ward said...

Thanks - glad you're enjoying it!