How TRIZ Works in Solving Problems
Most problem solving sessions follow a certain course of events in which participants are requested to perform the following tasks:
Define the problem, including an analysis of every detail about the problem that can affect finding the right solution.
- Generate a pool of possible solutions using a problem solving method such as TRIZ or brainstorming.
- Evaluate alternatives and select the best solution based on a set of values.
Develop an accountable action plan to implement the solution selected.
The facilitator of the problem solving session has several options when utilizing TRIZ to jump start the creative juices of the team in tackling a problem. The team moderator can take a methodical approach by leading the group through an examination of each of the 40 TRIZ principles to determine their applicability to the present situation.
Another approach is for the facilitator to ask each team member to select the principles which they believe offer the best solutions to the problem while providing support and examples for their choices. If a contradiction is identified during the problem solving session, such as the speed/reliability trade off, the team leader can use a contradiction matrix to generate a list of possible solutions for discussion to resolve the contradiction.
For example, the TRIZ matrix offers four inventive principles (Principle 11 - Beforehand Cushioning, Principle 35 - Parameter Changes, Principle 27 - Cheap Short-Living Objects, and Principle 28 - Mechanics Substitutions) to resolve the speed/reliability dilemma. The matrix also provides examples of how each of these principles may be applied. For instance, principle 35 yields greater detail on what constitutes a parameter change with examples that propose altering physical attributes such as flexibility, temperature, and concentration or consistency to correct the targeted imbalance. The solutions can also be adapted to service situations. For example, employee schedules can be adjusted to add flexibility, climate control can be used to eliminate too cold or too warm working conditions, and HR planning can be deployed to hire more workers to adjust concentration levels, all in the effort to speed up customer service without sacrificing quality.