TRIZ is a methodology for systematizing creativity. Based on the study of contradictions, this tool is particularly adapted to technical problems..
TRIZ is the Russian acronym for an expression (“Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch”) meaning Theory of Inventive Problem Solving” . It is a tool whose purpose is to help solve technical problems by systematizing the identification of solutions. Developed on the basis that it is better to solve the contradiction of a problem rather than the problem directly, it is today the only tool to propose ideas of solutions.
The theory of TRIZ
G. S. Altshuller developed TRIZ in the respect of the different elements of his problem-solving theory. This theory is based on 4 fundamentals.
Any problem is a contradiction
It is important to highlight the contradictions that are at the heart of the situations, because it is by understanding them that one can identify the problems 6 . For Altshusser, every problem is a contradiction. Rather, it proposes to solve the problem directly, to formulate a contradiction, and to eliminate it by following the generic trends in the evolution of the systems.
We classify contradictions into 2 families :
- The technical contradiction: if to improve the parameter A, we deteriorate the parameter B…C.…
- The physical contradiction: if to improve the parameter A, we deteriorate the parameter B and C …
The final perfect result
For Altshuller, one must reason in RIF (Final Ideal Result). The final ideal result is the way of technical evolution, the fact that each machine is more efficient than the previous one. This notion is defined by the ratio opposite. It shows that the more the function is well done and at least it consumes energy, and at most the solution tends to the ideal.
This essential concept is at the origin of the particle method, consisting in addressing a problem of its solution rather than of these causes.
FU : sum of the useful functions of the system. p>
FN: sum of all the harmful functions caused by the system p>
FC: sum of all costs generated by the system
The laws of evolutions of the technical systems
G. S. Altshuller was interested in formalizing the evolution constants followed by the technical systems (for him a system is created in order to realize a function and consists of subsystems that have links between them). The knowledge of these evolutions makes it possible to anticipate the evolutions and to predict the appearance of the problemss.
They allow to give an image at time t of the system and to give a vision of all the functions of the system and its structure. We find :
- Comprehensive law for a system to perform its function, it must have 4 parts that are the driving, transmission, working and control element .
- Conductivity law for the proper functioning of the system it is necessary that the energy flows freely between the subsystems
- Law of Harmonization also for the good functioning, it is essential that there is a concordance of the rhythms between the parts.
The kinematic laws
They define the mode of evolution in the space-time of technical systems. We find :
- Law of Ideality : Any system evolves theoretically towards the ideal whose definition is given above.
- Law of equal development of parts: In theory all parts of a system have evolved evenly over time.
- Super System Transition Act : A system can merge with other systems or super systems. Any development of this system sees the development of the super-system.
They reflect the evolution of modern technical systems under the effect of physical and technical factors. These laws are therefore a projection into the future of the system. We find :
- Micro-level transition law Number of evolutions are made in the miniaturization of systems. Theoretically, it is therefore innovative to go from a macro-level to a micro-level.
- Controllability Increase Act The evolution of systems is increasingly moving towards flexible and easily controllable systems.
- Law of increase of the vepolization the addition of function and therefore of complexity is a strong source of innovation.
Altshuller also points out that one of the difficulties in solving a problem or being creative about a situation is our ability to process the information. The habits, the expert knowledge or the “jargon” of the specialist are elements that contribute to this inertia. For him, we must be able to lift this inertia and follow the following rules:
- Never be persuaded that the solution exists in our area of expertise.
- Foster multidisciplinarity.
- Identify terms or expressions that carry psychological inertia and replace them with more neutral ones.
- Respect all the most wacky ideas.
The 4-step method
1 – Define the problem
For this first step, we define the problem:
- Present the systems : main function, characteristic …
- Describe the initial situation: In the form of a question, describe as a first step the wish (how to reduce costs while improving performance).
- Thinking about the problem : we must see the problem differently to understand the causes of it and understand why the problem appears. For this, Altshuller proposes the methods of the operator of the goldfish and the operators DTC (Dimension Time Cost).
- Build the EPV array (Element, Parameter, Values): the list of components, their parameters, their units and their values.
- Confront the system and parameters with the different laws and see the ability of these to respond to them.
- Use themulti-screen approach to map the system in its past, present and future state.
- Analyze patents and previous solutions not implemented. It is very likely that solutions have already been identified but not implemented. It is important to understand why by analyzing them. Althusser proposes to use the alternative systems method.
- Define the final ideal result in terms of functions and resources. For this, we can use the miniature men ou goldfish.
2 – Formulate the problem in contradiction
From the dataset, we select the key problem (s). These problems must be contradicted by conflicting parameters related to the problems.
In case of difficulty to define the problem and the contradiction, Altshuller proposes the ARIZ algorithm. Through a system of reformulation of the problem, this algorithm makes it possible to clarify the situation to identify the contradiction to be solved..
3 – Seeking a first solution way
When the contradiction is described, we can use one of the 3 tools that Altshuller proposes to solve them. Of all the creative methodologies, TRIZ is the only one to offer ideas 9 For that
In the case of a physical contradiction
Choose from 11 principles resolving contradictions.
4 – Adapt the proposed solution to the situation and evaluate
From the solution elements proposed by the various TRIZ tools, they must be adapted to the context and the specificity of the situation. We will check in particular if by removing the contradiction, we do not generate others.
It must also be evaluated according to the different laws :
The TRIZ is the starting point for several methods of solving inventive problems. Repeating the basic theories, they were developed in the desire to simplify the TRIZ. We find in the order of appearance : la SIT, l’ASIT puis l’USIT.
1 – D. Cavallucci (2001) – La TRIZ, initiation et pratique
2 – M. A. De Carvalho, N. Back (1999) – TRIZ methodology and its use in systematic engineering design
3 – T. Arciszeyski (1988) – Ariz 77: an innovative design method
4 – G. Bersano (2010) – Créer le futur avec la TRIZ et l’innovation systématique
5 – D. Cavallucci (2007) – Cours d’introduction à la TRIZ
6 – J. F. Chosson (1975) – L’entrainement mental
7 – A. J. Killander, V. V. Sushkov (1995) – Conflict oriented model of creative design
8 – J. C. Boldrini (2005) – L’accompagnement des projets d’innovation. Le suivi de l’introduction de la méthode TRIZ dans des entreprises de petite taille
9 – D. Cavallucci, P. Lutz (1997) – TRIZ, un concept nouveau de résolution de problème d’innovation
T. Louafa, F. L. Perret (2008) – Créativité et innovation
J. Hipple (2005) – The integration of TRIZ with other ideation tools and processes as well as with psychological assessment tools
Y. Salamatov (2005) – TRIZ : the right solution at the right time: a guide to innovative problem solving
K. Y. Basem El-Haik (2003) – Design For Six Sigma
M. Monnier, P. Lutz (2002) – Guide d’initiation à TRIZ