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Everyday TRIZ

Everyday TRIZ

| On 19, Jan 2011

Ellen Domb

Yesterday I had a conversation with a TRIZ/lean/six sigma consultant, who told me with some excitement about his new project, digital book publishing. I was glad to hear his enthusiasm, but astonished when he told me that the book is ABOUT applications of TRIZ, but that he didn’t use TRIZ to solve any of the problems he had during the project. My question: What about “I want to deal with Amazon, I don’t want to deal with Amazon?” prompted his reply “Wow, I never thought about using the simple clarity of TRIZ to help me with my own business. Wow!”

That’s the stimulus for this column: do you recognize TRIZ “situations” in your daily life? Here’s a guide to recognizing TRIZ opportunities, and what to do about them. I wrote this for managers who had modest (sometimes no) TRIZ training, so they could encourage their employees to use TRIZ, but I’ve found lots of people who need this advice – – think of this as the new, empowered workforce, who get no help from supervisors!

So, listen for the “trigger phrases” (it doesn’t matter if you say them to yourself, or if you hear other people say them), then have the “discussion” (same comment – – either talk to yourself or to the other person!)

Trigger Tool Discussion
X gets better but Y gets worse Tradeoff 1. What assumptions are being made about the linkage between X and Y? What could be done to eliminate the linkage?
2. Consider the Contradiction Matrix. Could X and Y be expressed in terms of the matrix?
3. Try using the 40 principles
We want Z but we don’t want Z Inherent contradiction 1. What assumptions are being made about Z and not Z?
2. Try the 4 separation principles
Solutions are proposed for a problem, but the solutions are very complex Trimming,
Let’s look at the functions that this solution is trying to provide. Maybe we can use the resources in the problem to provide those functions
A problem is being discussed, but the emphasis is on the complexities, not on why the problem has to be solved. OR the customers’ needs are not visible in the discussion Ideal final result, ideality, function analysis. Let’s try to simplify this discussion by looking at the problem in terms of ideality. Let’s list the benefits (use QFD-customer oriented language for this), the costs, and the harmful factors, then we can decide if we want to work on one of them, or if we want to work on an Ideal Final Result (all benefit, NO cost or harm). [Note that function analysis may be necessary in order to clarify the issues]
A problem is presented for solution, but it is really a collection of symptoms Root Cause Analysis In TRIZ this is called “understanding the zones of conflict.” Use whatever systems you have for root cause analysis��”it is a waste of time to try to solve a problem that you don’t understand.
We want to do ABCD to solve this problem, but we don’t know how (or “the laws of science say it can’t be done”) Effects/ bench-marking Use TRIZ function language in order to search for the somebody, somewhere who has solved this problem in different circumstances for different reasons.
A specific function needs to be improved or eliminated Su-field analysis, 76 Std. Start with function modeling and the desired change, pick the type of change, and go to the section of the 76 Standards that deals with that type of change (system must stay the same, additives are permitted/not permitted, etc.)
This problem is complex and we have no idea where to start System operator (also called 9 windows) Either go to the full method, and start working through the full analysis of the problem, or, if much of that has been done, go to the System Operator tool and consider solving the problem at different levels of system, sub-system, super-system, or in a preventive or corrective mode. See also the OTSM discussions
Great news, we have multiple solutions to the problem, but we don’t have time (or other resources) to test them all Ideality and Pugh matrix Ideality:eliminate the solutions that are not very ideal (or improve them before doing any more work.) Pugh matrix: let’s combine the best of the ideas into a small number of very good solutions before we go any further.