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"Systematic Innovation Using TRIZ"

“Systematic Innovation Using TRIZ”

| On 10, Jul 2002

IQPC (International Quality and Productivity Center)
London, England – May 21, 22 & 23rd, 2002
Report by Don Masingale, Chair for the Conference

IQPC were the sponsors of this conference. The organization, facilities and support for the conference was excellent, enabling the attendees the opportunity to relax, enjoy and absorb all that was discussed and presented, making this a very successful conference.

The conference was preceded by a half-day Workshop on Basic TRIZ. It provided a good brief overview of TRIZ, it’s potential and history. The two instructors from Oxford Creativity, Karen Gadd and Henry Strickland, demonstrated the various tools within TRIZ and provided example applications of innovative thinking using TRIZ. The workbook provided was well organized and provided the student with TRIZ fundamentals, many depicted with examples for clarity, enabling the student to actually see the steps of TRIZ innovation. A laminated chart provided to each attendee consisted of the Forty Inventive Principles, the Contradiction Matrix and a Road Map for path selection in problem solving. Another booklet included further explained the Forty Principles by means of examples provided for each. A well organized and excellent workshop.

The conference attendance was optimally sized to provide the opportunity for a great deal of interaction and networking, certainly one of the best TRIZ conferences I have attended in the past seven years. Many major global industries and institutions were represented: BAE Systems, Agilent Technologies, Siemens, Ford Motor Company, Whirlpool Europe, Ilford Imaging, DSM, Heidelberg, MARS (Masterfoods), Boeing, Roll-Royce, Proctor & Gamble, Invention Machine Europe, Toyota Motor Europe, SHIPLEY, ROHM and HAAS, PSA Peugeot Citroen (who couldn’t attend due to pressing issues at work, but his presentation was included with a brief review by another attendee who was familiar with the TRIZ effort at Peugeot) and others. The presentations, interactions and discussions enabled each to see how TRIZ was introduced and is being used in each application and what challenges were overcome to implement TRIZ in their respective organizations. More importantly, presenters provided an outline of where they plan to take TRIZ next within their organizations.

One of the overall themes of the conference centered around the “Implementation of TRIZ;” the challenges, the marketing of TRIZ internally, the pitfalls experienced, the corporate support or lack of it, costs associated with TRIZ training, the attitude of the TRIZ trained, how training was conducted and what seemed to work best for learning and retention, and how TRIZ was being applied. A significant part of this discussion was the necessary development of a “Culture of Innovation” as part of the TRIZ implementation process. In general, most of the attendees agreed that it was very important for the TRIZ student to acquire a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of TRIZ prior to using a computerized version of TRIZ. Again, most agreed that computerized TRIZ was an important tool in the application of TRIZ for the practitioner, once the understanding of TRIZ was entrenched.

Using TRIZ to analyze the “Evolutionary Trends” of products and processes always draws a lot of attention, and this conference was no exception. Everyone wants to be able to not only predict the future better, but also try to pull the future product back to be implemented earlier, today, if possible. Although touched upon by several presenters, one presentation in particular discussed accelerating the evolution of products in more detail.

University level TRIZ education gained a great deal of attention and support. Denis Cavallucci from ENSAIS (National School of Arts and Industries of Strasbourg, France) introduced his proposed program for a Graduate Degree – Master’s in Innovative Design based upon the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) and the General Theory of Advanced Thinking (QTSM-TRIZ). Denis has been a strong supporter of TRIZ in Europe and continues the effort by means of providing Russian to English translations of TRIZ writings as well as his academia level effort. Industry has recognized the need to not only train their existing technical communities in TRIZ Innovation, but to also help establish the TRIZ Innovative thinking early in the training (academia) and career of the technical people they hire, with further Innovation cultivation after entering industry. Internal training cost is a major concern for companies considering the implementation of a new methodology, such as TRIZ.

The TRIZ community is becoming acutely aware that TRIZ is not a stand-alone application within the Culture of Innovation for most Enterprises. It must complement and be complemented by other methodologies that perform other functions better than TRIZ or, in some cases, that TRIZ does not perform. Hence, several presentations discussed the value of TRIZ and Six Sigma, QFD, Axomatic Design, TOC, Taguchi, etc. It was also pointed out that the acceptance of TRIZ is much easier to attain if introduced as a complementary to another already embraced methodology within the organization. What better way to prove the value of TRIZ than to show how TRIZ will complement that already proven and accepted system?

In all, the presentations were excellent. The breaks between sessions were sufficiently long to allow good discussion and networking. A few misconceptions were openly discussed and cleared up in several areas, allowing for a closer alliance and understanding between attendees and organizations. The result will be a stronger global TRIZ community!

Fellowship and good exchange prevailed throughout the conference and is extended by follow up communication between the attendees in supporting each others TRIZ effort and working together on TRIZ projects for common objectives.

Contradictions are “opportunities” for Improvement – Analogy is the “vision” of Inventors & Innovators!

Don Masingale (316) 526-5777 e-mail: