TRIZ: The theory of inventive problem solving

TRIZ is a creativity technique developed by Genrich Saulowitsch Altschuller and Rafael Borissowitsch Shapiro with the collaboration of Dmitri Dmitrijevitsch Kabanov until 1956. It roughly means “theory of inventive problem solving”. The following insights of Altschuller and Shapiro led to the development of TRIZ: (i) a large number of inventions are often based on a few general solution principles, (ii) innovative developments result from overcoming contradictions, and (iii) the evolution of (technical) systems follows certain patterns and laws16. Thus, inventions should be able to be derived systematically. From their observations, the authors of the TRIZ method derived methodological tools that provide a standardized approach to finding creative solutions. These methods include: (i) 40 innovation principles and a contradiction table, (ii) principles for separation in space, in time, within an object, and by change of condition to resolve (physical) contradictions, (iii) an algorithm for solving invention problems (ARIZ), (iv) a system of 76 standard solutions and a substance-field analysis, (v) S-curves and laws of evolution of (technical) systems, (vi) principles of ideality, and (vii) a modeling of technical systems using dwarf models that ensure that inadequacy is overcome when changing one’s line of thinking. Solutions can often be obtained with TRIZ by combining different principles. The laws of systems development contain essential elements of systemic thinking. They deal with the completeness of the parts of the system in question, its energetic conductivity, its coordination of the rhythm of the parts and its ideality, possible unevenness of its development and the necessity of transition to an upper system. They also describe the transition from the macro to the micro level and the part of substance-field systems.


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