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What is Ideal?

What is Ideal?

| On 01, Jan 2010

Message: 1371
Posted by: D. Pittman
Posted on: Monday, 7th July 2008

What happens if there is a debate over the concept of the ideal final result?  Over what is “ideal”?  Decide to create two wonderful products rather than one?

Seriously, though, my co-workers and I are coming up with different version of what the “ideal” situation/product will be.  Is that weird?  Are we the exceptions to the rule?

Message: 1372
Posted by: albert
Posted on: Tuesday, 8th July 2008

Please let me explain how I experienced the Ideal Final Result as used in TRIZ, hope this would help you in answering your question concerning this subject.

The 'most' Ideal result as stated by TRIZ is when functionality is performed by only a field! However functionality with only a field is a contradiction because of system incompleteness. So this is only  a psychological step to change perspective.

Most design practices deal with a problem from a push perspective – matter potentially with a lot of contradictions incorporated are dealt with to solve problems in an inefficient way. Products as I now see it are tools to manage energy to objects (ref is perserving meat by cooling …etc…), so the Ideal is a pull strategy towards functionality of field processing with no losses.

When the ideal is materialized (pulled into a system) then contradictions will be emerged, wether it is performance, energy efficiency, costs or whatever. Value will not be infinitive. Along materialization also variations are brought in and I can imagine that they are positioned at a same distance from the ideal..

Message: 1373
Posted by: Jack Hipple
Posted on: Tuesday, 8th July 2008

This is the norm and not unusual. Think about a hospital. Is the IFR the same for the doctor, nurse, patient, insurance company, hospital administrator, patient advocate? Of course not! Think also about new product delivery and internal corporate communication as other examples where there is sure to be varying views of the Ideal Final Result. In TRIZ sessions, there is no right or wrong about this, just important to make the distinction. Of course in the process of TRIZ problem solving, if a solution can be identified that moves everyone in the direction of an IFR, that's great! One approach to this is to identify the IFR for each person or group, then identify the resources available to each, and also identify the contradictions that prevent the achievement of each IFR. If there are overlapping contradictions and resources that exist, then that's the place to focus the TRIZ problem solving.

A productive group technique, after introducing TRIZ basics, is to separate groups with differing views and let them identify the IFR, resources, and contradictions prior to group problem solving.

Message: 1374
Posted by: Ellen Domb
Posted on: Thursday, 10th July 2008

Jack is too modest to say “go read my commentary, posted this week” for a good look at ideality.  So I'll say it!   I have found that if people disagree about the IFR, it usually means that they disagree about the function (benefit) of the system.  

I think that the definition of the IFR as the system being replaced by a field is too specific, and sometimes not true, if you need to introduce a mechanism to generate or capture the field.  The more comprehensive definition is that the function is performed, but the mechanism goes away.   Frequently, this can be done by using infrastructure or resources from the supersystem.   Examples:

Replace powdered fertilizer and a machine for spreading fertilizer on plants with a liquid fertilzer that is soluble in water, and spread as part of the watering process.

Replace plants that need water and fertilizer with plants that are specifically “designed” to thrive in the weather and soil conditions available.

Instead of having employees clean the table in a restaurant, make it easy for customers to clean their own tables, and make it socially negative to leave food and dishes on the table.   (Always remember that the customer–and her energy, her thinking ability, her hands, her body temperature, her muscles–can contribute lots of resources.)

And, a field example:   Instead of a complex mechanism to lower a fire protection door during a fire, use a wedge of material that melts at the temperature of the fire to hold the door open, and gravity to cause the door to close when the wedge melts.   (This is also a nice example of disaster prevention thinking, since the complex electrical or mechanical or hydraulic door closing systems are likely to malfunction during a fire, and gravity may be hard to control, but it never malfunctions!)

Message: 1375
Posted by: Prakash
Posted on: Monday, 14th July 2008

In my experience a debate on IFR is an opportunity!! A debate on IFR for a real time problem solving will unearth the contradictions in a very early stage. These contradictions are not necessarily only technical, but a difference of opinion in visioning a new product or solution by individuals through IFR shall also bring out the usability, functionality, marketability, maintainability etc. I have worked on situations where the difference of IFR coming from team members, but when a slight change in the facilitation by identifying stake holders solve the problem. And I agree with the approach Jack mentioned, leaving to individuals to think about the IFR first and bring them back into the team. You can also use 6 Thinking Hat to do this as a team to avoid conflicting arguments.