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.

2 comments:

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!