TRIZ is a problem solving method based on logic and data, not intuition, which accelerates the project team's ability to solve these problems creatively. TRIZ also provides repeatability, predictability, and reliability due to its structure and algorithmic approach. "TRIZ" is the (Russian) acronym for the "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving." G.S. Altshuller and his colleagues in the former U.S.S.R. developed the method between 1946 and 1985. TRIZ is an international science of creativity that relies on the study of the patterns of problems and solutions, not on the spontaneous and intuitive creativity of individuals or groups. More than three million patents have been analyzed to discover the patterns that predict breakthrough solutions to problems.
The TRIZ general problem at the highest level is to find a way to produce the product with no waste, at 100 percent yield, with no added complexity. A TRIZ general solution formula is "The problem should solve itself." One of the patterns of evolution of technology is that energy (fields) replaces objects (mechanical devices). For example, consider using a laser instead of a scalpel for eye surgery. In this case, ultrasound can be used to break the cell walls or using an enzyme to "eat" the cell wall (chemical energy) instead of hitting them.
Some are more prescriptive such as: * The 40 Inventive Principles of Problem Solving, * The Separation Principles, * Laws of Technical Evolution and Technology Forecasting and * 76 Standard Solutions.
A fundamental concept of TRIZ is that contradictions should be eliminated. TRIZ recognizes two categories of contradictions:
1. Technical contradictions are the classical engineering "trade-offs." The desired state can't be reached because something else in the system prevents it. In other words, when something gets better, something else gets worse. Classical examples include:
- The product gets stronger (good), but the weight increases (bad).
- The bandwidth for a communication system increases (good), but requires more power (bad).
- Service is customized to each customer (good), but the service delivery system gets complicated (bad).
- Training is comprehensive (good), but keeps employees away from their assignments (bad).
2. Physical contradictions, also called "inherent" contradictions, are situations in which one object or system has contradictory, opposite requirements. Everyday examples abound:
- Surveillance aircraft should fly fast (to get to the destination), but should fly slowly to collect data directly over the target for long time periods.
- Software should be complex (to have many features), but should be simple (to be easy to learn).
- .Coffee should be hot for enjoyable drinking, but cold to prevent burning the customer
- Training should take a long time (to be thorough), but not take any time.