On Thursday, 28 September 2017 Karen Gadd of Oxford Creativity introduced members of the Midlands branch to the problem-solving tool kit, TRIZ.
TRIZ is an acronym for the Russian expression "Theoria Resheneyva Isobretatelskehuh Zadach," in English "The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving." The technique was developed during the cold war by Genrich Altshuller, a Russian Inventor who analyzed thousands of patents and realized that when you are faced with a problem: TRIZ includes a practical methodology, tool sets, a knowledge base, and model-based technology for generating innovative solutions for problem-solving.
Analyzing these patents yields consistent patterns of invention and lines of technological evolution that are consistently used across all areas of science and technology. For example, does the part or property have to be heavy everywhere or just in certain places?
These generic inventive principles can then be applied to all other areas of technology, greatly reducing the time to produce breakthrough ideas and inventions. Does the system have to rigid and flexible at all times or just certain times?
In the short time available it was not possible to explain all the techniques that can be found in the TRIZ toolkit.
However, the session provided an interesting overview of the technique and judging by the interest shown by the participants at the end, many of them will be looking at learning more about TRIZ for themselves.
Karen provided the contradiction matrix and list of Inventive Principles to the attendees.
One of the key benefits of TRIZ is that it is complimentary to many of the other problem-solving toolkits in common use today.