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Convergence and Divergence

| On 31, Oct 2007

Michael S. Slocum

Ideating takes place in cycles. Cycles of convergence and divergence that is repeated through the definition and resolution phases of problem solving. The process is also iterative. This means that the cycles continue indefinitely as a solution to a problem creates new problems and so on.


The first step is to define the current problem and create the scope for problem solving. This is convergence to a specific problem statement. Then the problem solver needs to diverge to create the identity of the perfect solution (the IFR in TRIZ vocabulary). Once the ideal solution criteria are established you then converge to the acceptable solution criteria. These steps continue until the right problem is scoped and the success criteria established. Then the techniques that are used to create solutions are divergent. The problem solver ideates inside the scope previously identified.


Once solutions are created, convergence to an implementable solution must take place. The process may be represented like this:Converge to problem – Diverge to ideal solution elements – Converge to IFR – Diverge for ideation – Converge to solutionThis process is iterative at any step. Also, the implemented solution may create secondary problems and this then repeats the process.