Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TRIZ and the Front End of Innovation Process

TRIZ: A Russian acronym meaning "the theory of solving inventor's problems."

Sounds pretty useful, eh? GE seems to think so as they're working with TRIZ technology to develop better technology and not wasting money on bad technology. The company has seen a decline in their share prices and they're seemingly desperate for a way to mend the situation. So, they've turned to Stalin-era Russia for TRIZ technology.

From Sci-Tech-Today.com: The core ideas were dreamed up by engineer and science fiction writer Genrich Altshuller, whose critique of the Soviet Union's record on invention in the late 1940s landed him in the gulag. There, he learned from imprisoned scientists and, when he was released, put together a step-by-step innovation method for people who aren't born with the gifts of Edison or Einstein. Since then, his theory has evolved into an elaborate system for analyzing problems and generating solutions. In contrast to brainstorming, TRIZ uses deep analysis of possibilities based on science and math algorithms.

In this rocky climate, its important to look to innovative ideas to ensure growth throughout our companies. What other companies are you seeing that have developed strange, if not archaic means to survive?


rplattinov8or said...

Good information but I thought it might be helpful for your readers to see some other facts that I believe need to be shared to shed more light on the topic that you bring up.

Facts: A very large # of OEM's are using TRIZ, to name a few more large OEM's using TRIZ: Samsung (the one that consider to be a “best-in-class” standard for corporate innovating), Nokia, Motorola, P&G, Caterpillar, to name but a few of the big players using the methods.

What is even more surprising is not how many OEM's use TRIZ but why so little of it is spoken about it outside of the TRIZ and Scientific Innovation Methods community. To be clear some are more effective at implementing and integrating TRIZ and other scientific innovation and design methods, but that is the nature of corporate immune systems ("status-quo mentality"). Basically these status quo attitudes and behavior attempt to squash the grass roots efforts to bring these sorts of programs to the forefront of company and enhancing the productivity and innovativeness of the enterprise.

You may ask where I get my comments from, they’re based on my professional experience, as well as competitive intelligence analysis and relationships that I have had in the innovation community both internally and externally to Intel. I was the Corporate Innovation Program Manager - globally for the (TRIZ & Innovation) as well as the Senior Instructor for Innovation Methods at Intel.

Just in case you don't believe me, contact the CEO Paul Otellini and the Senior Vice President for Technology and Manufacturing Group (TMG) - Bob Baker. Ask them about what they think about TRIZ and the benefits . Bob will actually know more since it is the manufacturing organization that has benefited the most from the TRIZ. Great guy, but be cool when you talk to him, he’s a friend of mine and I wouldn’t want him inconvenienced by your contacting him. Best of luck in researching this it’s a great topic, I’ve been doing the same for 10 years now.

Richard Platt

Neil said...

One clarification. TRIZ is actually the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (sometimes called TIPS in the US) and uses teh application of physical principles to a problem to eliminate the typical trade-off of design parameters to find the "inventive" solution.

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