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Book Review: TRIZ in Progress

| On 08, Jul 1999

Ellen Domb,

Title:TRIZ in Progress: Transactions of the Ideation Research Group
Authors: Alla Zusman, Gafur Zainiev, Dana Clark, edited by VictoriaRoza
Publisher: Ideation International Inc.http://www.ideationtriz.com
ISBN:none
Cost:US$25 Pages: 248Cover: paper
Availablefrom: The TRIZ Journal Products& Services, orfrom the publisher.

TRIZ inProgress: Transactions of theIdeation Research Groupis a set of4 essays and 22 appendices. It isbased on the work by 15 researchersand 4 advisors that was started in the late 1980’s at the Kishniev school inthe former USSR, and that continues today.Most of the authors now live in the US, and are affiliated with IdeationInternational Inc. Some of the research reports deal with the development ofIdeation’s software products and consulting methods, but this is definitelynot and advertisement message disguised as a book.

Regularreaders of The TRIZ Journal are already familiar with the style of thesereports. Appendix 8 appearedas an independent essay “Managing Innovation Knowledge” in the April, 1999issue. and Appendix 7 appeared as “System of Operators” in the May, 1999issue.

Thefour principle essays are

  1. “Roots, structure, and theoretical base” by Alla Zusman

  2. “Current scientific work” by Dr. Gafur Zainiev

  3. “Evolution of TRIZ Market, Applications, and Possible Markets” byDana Clark

  4. “Problems in the Development and Marketing of TRIZ” by Alla Zusman

The22 appendices cover a wide range of topics. In addition to the two mentionedabove, some flavor of the appendices is given by this list:

2.Analogies for TRIZ: A comparison of TRIZ to mathematics, biology, and art.

3.Overview of Creative Methods: An essay and a table that compares 84 creativity methods,ranging from Delphi to de Bono to von Oech to many less well known, to TRIZ aspresented in the Ideation methodology.

Wavesof Mankind’s Control of its Destiny: Exploresthe control of safety, information, shelter, food, labor, social processes,etc., with remarks on the parallels to the patterns of evolution seen in TRIZ.

6. Revision ofClassical TRIZ Assumptions. Thisis a fascinating essay on the developmentof TRIZ and comparison TRIZ during Altshuller’s active management of theprocess with TRIZ through the last 15 years.From a personal perspective, I found that several of my findings teaching“American-style” TRIZ replicate the authors’ findings (the highestpossible level of invention is not always best, TRIZ can be more powerful whenlinked to problem-identification methods already in use in an organization suchas QFD, SPC, QFD, etc., patents are an incomplete database for inventions, …)This should probably be read with Appendix 13, TheMain Postulates of TRIZ.

12.Value Quality Engineering:This is a combination of an essay on the new trends in Value Engineeringand the relationship between VE, quality improvement, design formanufacturability, and the opportunities to apply TRIZ.This is one of the few essays that does become an advertisement forIdeation’s software and training, but the concepts are well explained in theessay, and the general reader can get useful information while ignoring theadvertising.

16.Anticipatory Failure Design. This essay, together with Appendix 21 on using AFD todebug software, gives the reader step-by-step instruction in applying the AFDmethod to prevent or fix failures in products and processes.