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Review: JOURNAL OF TRIZ: Value to English-Speaking Readers

Review: JOURNAL OF TRIZ: Value to English-Speaking Readers

| On 10, Feb 2006

by: Jack Hipple
Publication Details:
the Journal of TRIZ is the English translation of the Russian language magazine, which has just resumed publication in 2005 after a long hiatus. The cost of a single issue of the Journal of TRIZ is $25.00, or $45.00 for a 2-issue annual subscription. See www.trizspb. ru or send a check to The International TRIZ Association, mailed to Mark Barkan,5123 Top Seed Court, Charlotte, NC 28226 USA.

After glancing through my first copy of this journal, I was amazed at the breadth of its content and was pleased to see pictures of well know authors and TRIZ Masters whose books I had read. The MA-TRIZ organization is to be commended for re-starting the publication of this journal and making it available in English to its Western colleagues. I recommend this journal to all my fellow TRIZ practitioners and consultants, as it will provide interesting examples, futuristic thoughts and different perspectives. It also covers a broad range of examples, methodology improvement discussions, advanced theory, interviews, book summaries, and articles on teaching. The breadth of the issue I
received is both its strongest point and largest area for improvement from a reader’s standpoint.

From a personal perspective, I found the articles by Litvin (“Main Directions for the Development of Technical TRIZ”), Taraenko (“Technology for the Development of Creative Thinking Based on TRIZ”), Pchiolkina (“Methodology recommendations on studying the Topic ‘Contradictions’ in Primary School”), Axelrod (“Interactions Causality Scheme as a Tool for Situation Analysis and Problem Statement”), Kynin (“Porosity in Materials”), and Feygenson (“S-Curve- Certain Specific Features of the Third Stage of Evolution”) most useful. Many of the advanced theoretical articles (Petrov, “Laws of Needs Development”, and Murashkowsky, “Evolution of Scientific Ideas and Features Characteristics of Talented Thinking”) for example provide no background or explanation for the starting point of the article, making them, in a practical sense, unusable and unreadable by the average English-speaking TRIZ practitioner.

Many associations, such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Product Development Management Association publish two distinct journal types, one focusing on practical articles regarding implementation and use of known knowledge and another focused on advanced theory. This is something MA-TRIZ should consider.Readers who have struggled with poor translations of earlier Russian-language TRIZ books should be reassured that the Journal of TRIZ is very well translated—the language
is easy to read and makes sense. Gen3 Partners donated the translations services for the first issue, and MA-TRIZ has expressed their thanks to them, as will the readers.
Another point for MA-TRIZ to consider is to recognize other publications in the field. In many of the articles, there are no references to relating, previous, and relevant articles in other engineering journals, the Creativity and Innovation Management special issue on TRIZ, etc., although there are occasional references to The TRIZ Journal. There are now numerous activities, research, and publications outside the former Soviet Union that should be recognized and referenced when appropriate.
I would offer the following constructive comments regarding the journal and its contents in it current configuration. First of all, it needs better organization. The mixing of theory extension, case studies, teaching, and advanced theory in one journal in a haphazard organizational way makes it difficult to focus one’s readings. A simple division of the contents into sections would be a great start, followed by either separate journals as mentioned previously, or each issue dedicated to a particular area, as is frequently done in many technical and trade association journals.
The editor and editorial board of “Journal of TRIZ” are to be commended for this tremendous effort to share their learnings with others