What Is TRIZ?

TRIZ is the Russian acronym for “Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.” An emerging science, TRIZ encompasses a structured method for creative thinking. TRIZ includes a theoretical base and various analytical and knowledge-base tools that help individuals invent and resolve complex problems in a systematic way.

When and where was TRIZ developed?

Genrich Altshuller, a Russian inventor, began developing TRIZ in 1946. He and his associates continued development until 1985, when health problems forced Altshuller’s retirement. Subsequently, the Kishinev School in Moldova (CIS) advanced the science beyond its classical form in order to overcome certain weaknesses in the methodology. In 1992, the members of the Kishinev School immigrated to the United States where they continued to advance TRIZ, with an emphasis on adapting and disseminating it.

What is the Ideation-TRIZ (I-TRIZ) Methodology?

The Ideation-TRIZ Methodology moves beyond Classical TRIZ with: an integrated, comprehensive approach to Inventive Problem Solving that fills in the “gaps” present in the earlier form of the methodology new applications that include Anticipatory Failure Determination (failure analysis and prediction), and Directed Evolution®, a process which evolves future generations of products, processes and technologies new analytical and knowledge-base tools, and enhancements to Classical TRIZ tools software products to accelerate the innovation process.

What are TRIZ analytical tools?

Analytical tools are used to document and model problems in order to reveal directions in which to look for innovative solutions. Examples of analytical tools include questionnaires and problem formulation tools.

What are TRIZ knowledge-base tools?

Knowledge-base tools are used to synthesize solution concepts to inventive problems. They include the System of Operators (TRIZ principles, methods, and standard solutions), Innovative Illustration Library (examples of thought processes of great innovators) and the Innovation Guide (a compendium of physical, chemical and geometric effects).

What are the benefits of using TRIZ?

Immediate benefits are the ability to think differently in terms of viewing, analyzing, and resolving a problem, as well as an overall increase in creative abilities. Companies that integrate a continuous TRIZ-based innovation process can attain a sustainable competitive advantage. Long-term benefits are measured in terms such as:

  • enhanced innovation skills of a broad-cross section of employees
  • increased productivity
  • accelerated time-to-market
  • decreased costs
  • improved quality, safety and reliability
  • reduced warranty claims

Does TRIZ have proven credibility?

Yes. TRIZ tools and applications, which are based on an extensive theoretical base, have been successfully utilized to overcome technological roadblocks and dilemmas. We estimate that several thousand technical personnel throughout hundreds of industrial companies have undergone some form of training, mostly in Classical TRIZ. Some of these users have purchased software to support their application of TRIZ. Due to the proprietary nature of products, systems and technologies, there are a limited number of case studies available. Ideation International has a long list of satisfied customers who are willing to share their experiences.

Who is using TRIZ?

In the United States, the primary focus to date has been the engineering community, including the areas of design, R&D, manufacturing, safety, reliability, quantity, and others. The science of TRIZ is continually evolving, however, and is now being applied to areas of business such as process improvement and strategic planning.

Is there anything similar to TRIZ?

No other technique is comparable to TRIZ, as most of them are based on psychology (such as brainstorming, lateral thinking, etc.) rather than technology.

Why wasn’t TRIZ known in the United States until recently?

Before 1991, little or no knowledge transfer about TRIZ occurred between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Who markets the TRIZ methodology and TRIZ-based software products?

The dissemination of TRIZ is taking place through educational programs, software tools, publications and analytical services. Educational programs are available from Ideation International, several training organizations, and a number of independent TRIZ consultants. TRIZ-based software products are available from Ideation International. Analytical services are available from Ideation International, as well as several independent sources. Note: Only Ideation International is marketing proprietary information related to an advanced form of the TRIZ methodology. All others market products that are based on Classical TRIZ.

How can I learn about TRIZ and the Ideation-TRIZ Methodology?

Contact Ideation International. We have the world’s largest concentration of TRIZ specialists and scientists involved in advancing the methodology.

What is a TRIZ “specialist”?

A TRIZ specialist is an individual who has both extensive training in the methodology (i.e., a thorough understanding of the theoretical base and of the analytical and knowledge-base tools), and experience in applying it in various engineering and business disciplines.