TRIZ Principles Aid In Design of Products, Processes, and Services

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Design for Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

TRIZ is a tool to help us see design opportunities and provide us with principles to resolve, improve, and optimize product, process, and service designs.  It is also a useful innovation and problem solving tool.

TRIZ was developed by Genrich S. Altshuller of Russia.  Working in the Russian patent office, he was troubled by the common misconception that invention was the result of accident or evolution and he sought to discover a methodology for inventing.  During his research of the world’s patent base, he made four key observations:

  1. There are five levels of invention:
    • Level 5:  Rare scientific discovery of new phenomena (less than 1%)
    • Level 4:  New generations using a new scientific principle to perform the primary functions of the system (4%)
    • Level 3:  Fundamental improvements to an existing design paradigm by methods known outside the industry (about 18%)
    • Level 2:  Minor improvement to an existing design paradigm by methods known within the industry (about 45%)
    • Level 1:  Routine design problems (no innovation) solved by known methods results in simple improvement (about 32%)
  2. Inventive problems contain at least one contradiction.  In his research, Altshuller recognized that the same design contradictions had been addressed by a number of inventions in different areas of industry.  He also saw the repetition of the same fundamental solutions or principles to resolve these contradictions.
  3. These principles can therefore be considered solution patterns or basic inventive principles.  An inventive principle is a best practice that has been used in many applications.  Altshuller recognized that there were 40 fundamental inventive principles.
  4. There are standard patterns of evolution.  To create a product or service, analogies can be made to situations for similar concepts.  The evolution of the design is examined, then the analogy is applied to predict the future of the design of interest.
TRIZ is a combination of algorithms and principles.  Study of the world’s patents shows that these same principles have been used in innovative solutions in many different fields and industries.  Using these algorithms and principles can help your organization make evolutionary jumps in the design of your products, processes, and services.


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