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Systematic (Software) Innovation..

Systematic (Software) Innovation..

| On 09, Nov 2008

Prakasan Kappoth

“…over the history of software development there have not been that many innovations..” I must have heard this statement elsewhere in some forum, but now this is the base for a new TRIZ for software innovation book recently launched. This is the book written and re-written several times in the last four years by Darrell Mann, and something I personally had been waiting ever since he said the concept of a TRIZ book specific to Software. I must confess though, that the anticipation (for this book) had become oblivious to me at some point of time. (A lot have happened in the last 4 years). Last month Darrell launched his latest book, Systematic (Software) Innovation; I’m almost half done with that.

If you have read his earlier editions of Systematic Innovation for business & Mgmt, and Technology, this is an easy read (hence I could finish half), flipping through the pages will do. However, if you are interested in learning TRIZ for software and new to this concept, consider this as a good reference book (still please do read another primer book to understand the basic concept of TRIZ techniques), and suggest a thorough read, but not a very easy read as Clayton Christensen’s books..

First impression – Considerable changes in his style; not difficult to read, usage of nice and catchy words, phrases, simple explanation of the techniques. This is a great improvement considering his previous books.

I’m not intending a complete book review here. I need to read (or flip through) this at least till the 10th chapter to do enough justice to that. But, something out-there-in-my-mind is here:

– Interesting examples used across. However, should have had more detailed examples with “real” software stuffs; data structure, algorithms, architecture design etc. Considering the time he had taken for writing (researching) this book, I can understand how difficult it would be. But certainly there is a great scope for the future editions.

– Has covered lot of UI examples. I’m happy to see the Google search engine in this book

– Using perception mapping for software – I was expecting to see something more of this use in software when we were exchanging notes long time back. I don’t see anything more than the original perception mapping technique from the Systematic Innovation for Business & Management book.

– Very good, step-by-step approach to applying it in actual problem (He has justified that the software problems are not necessarily “software” problems, but is in the periphery of software) with loads of templates. Templates should help for the first timers, and especially for the software guys.

– A sole good chapter devoted how to teach this – Well thought through. Will help lot of new people would want to embrace this in their organization

– Last couple of chapters about the fascinating (for me at least) concepts about ToE (Theory of Everything). I’m sure he is writing his next book with this concept.

– Couple of things I’m not impressed a) quality of printing – Pictures are shrunk and nothing readable inside the charts and graph etc. b) cost – one of the costliest paper back edition book I have purchased..  – Around $51.00

Finally – Thanks to Darrell. Last four years of applying TRIZ for software in my company (no book targeting TRIZ for software existed until now) deriving our own approaches from the basic TRIZ, and his previous books have been validated now with his examples, approaches. I can go back and show his book, applications, case studies, approaches to those who weren’t ready to listen what I had to say without any “master data”!

If you get a chance to read this book, do share your thoughts, views. I hope this book is possibly a foundation, and many more concepts, application, and books will follow..