Masterclass How to solve your technical problems using TRIZ

christoph dobrusskinEnd of June, Christoph Dobrusskin gave a masterclass on the topic: “How to solve your technical problems using TRIZ”

This masterclass, organized by Philips Engineering Solutions – Industry consulting, gave an introduction in TRIZ, the “Theory of Inventive Problem solving”. TRIZ is a structured methodology and a proven tool of choice for creating breakthrough solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

In his presentation Christoph focused on what TRIZ entails and how it can play a role in patent protection, improving existing products, increasing the quality of products and bringing products faster to market.

Participant quotes:

“If you do not know TRIZ, this is your first port of call”
Director Product development

“A good overview of the essentials (I knew already something), good examples and again an encouragement to pick it up in our organization”
Lead Engineer Sustainability

“Interesting interactive presentation on TRIZ with life physical demonstrations making it enjoyable and easy to remember the essentials of the topic presented.”

“Valuable master class. Nice to see what is possible with Triz. Eye opener.”


Key take aways:

TRIZ is a Russian acronym standing for: Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. It is a methodology or “way of thinking” about systematically analyzing and solving difficult (engineering) problems. TRIZ is based on principles that have been identified by the study of millions of patents and technical systems. Some basic notions of TRIZ include:

  • All engineering systems evolve towards being more “ideal”
  • A relatively small number of inventive principles form the basis for all inventions. Someone, somewhere may have solved your problem already: Most problems have already been solved, just in another application field.
  • Engineering systems develop according to specific patterns. Those patterns can be used to “predict” innovations.
  • To really be inventive it is not sufficient to optimize, but rather one should solve contradictions
  • Persistent problems can often be solved by the use of resources already existent in the system.

TRIZ way of working:

  • As a preparation to using the TRIZ problem solving tools it is advisable to first analyze the problem at hand using tools such as Cause Effect Chain Analysis. In this way the underlying root-causes can be identified, and this ensures that the right problem is tackled.
  • The specific problem can then be formulated.
  • Based on the specific problem a generic problem description is defined.
  • This serves as a starting point for finding general solutions. Those solutions have worked well for comparable problems.
  • The general solutions are then applied to the specific problem to identify specific solutions for the problem at hand.
  • Finally, tools for evaluation and selection can be applied.

How to integrate TRIZ in your organization

The best way to learn TRIZ is to build on the experience of others, which inspires confidence, can save a lot of time and speeds up the process of becoming TRIZ experts.

  • Team up. When starting up with TRIZ (in larger organizations) always send a few people at the same time to a course. Participants can then start working together using the TRIZ methods and tools in circumstances comparable to their daily work.
  • Take ownership. Use TRIZ regularly as newly acquired knowledge is easily forgotten. For the time after a training, line up work suitable for TRIZ.
  • Be selective: use the Analysis tools of TRIZ to identify problems that are worthwhile tackling, and also to communicate this to your stakeholders.
  • Link TRIZ to processes and systems in your organization.
  • Make success visible by celebrating successful projects.

Some basic readings on TRIZ:

  • Genrich Altshuller, “TRIZ Principles”, ISBN 0-9640740-5-2
  • Genndi Ivanov, “Dennis the Inventor”, ISBN 978-1479724239

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