Gemba Concepts

TRIZ – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving

A simple yet a very powerful problem-solving technique, widely used in core engineering, military, architecture & construction

There is no problem in the known world which haven’t occurred anywhere else, there might be variation in the magnitude, dimension in which the problem has occurred. Someone, Somewhere already faced similar problem and there is high probability that problem has been solved

Process Improvement, Six Sigma quality improvement processes often make use of TRIZ.


Key Concept Behind TRIZ

  1. Generalizing Problems & Solutions
  2. Eliminating Contradiction


Generalizing Problems & Solutions

  • Problems and solutions are repeated across all domains. By representing a problem as a “contradiction” we can predict solution to that problem.
  • Patterns of technical evolution tend to repeat themselves across industries and sciences.
  • Creative innovations often use scientific effects outside the field where they were developed.


Steps Involved:

1. Define the problem which is being faced currently

We may use questionary to define the problem

  • Name the system and its primary function
  • What is the current and desired system structure?
  • How does the system execute the primary function now?
  • What is the operating environment?
  • What are the available resources and natural phenomena?
  • What are the problems or opportunities?
  • What mechanism constrains achievement? History.
  • Can a substitute problem be solved?
  • What system changes are allowed, prohibited?
  • What time, money, people issues constrain solutions? Previous attempts? Solved elsewhere?

2. Brain Storm and generalize & identify the Problem


We begin with ” 5W’s and an H ” of Innovation. Ask these question of every system so that the system function and problem is identified.

W1. Who has the problem?

W2. What does the problem seem to be? What are the resources?

W3. When does the problem occur? Under what circumstances?

W4. Where does the problem occur?

W5. Why does the problem occur? What is root cause?


H1. How does the problem occur? How can the problem be solved?


3. Collect input to the generalized problem through existing case studies, research papers, academic papers & document, If possible, observing any situation outside your problem which may resemble your problem & the approach being used to solve that problem


4. Once list of all the problem & solution which resemble your current problem is collected


5. Generalize the solution provided to those Problem


6. Thinking by Analogy to develop solution for the current problem 

Ideal Final Result (IFR) and Ideality :

Ideal Final Result is very useful concept as it , gives an implementation-free description (after the problem has been solved focuses on functions needed (and not on the currently used processes and / or equipment) eliminates rework (by solving the  right  problem the first time itself) leads to breakthrough thinking (about the solution and not inhibited/hindered by intervening problem) 

IFR has the following characteristics,

  • Eliminates the deficiencies of the original system
  • Preserves advantages of the original system
  • Does not make the original system more complicated (uses free or available resources)
  • Does not introduce new disadvantages

The main advantages of IFR are

  • Encourages Breakthrough Thinking (eliminates / avoids psychological inertia)
  • Inhibits move to less ideal solutions (rejects compromises)
  • Clearly establishes the boundaries of the solutions


Eliminating Contradiction

There are fundamental contradictions at the root of most problems. In many cases, a reliable way to solve a problem is to eliminate these contradictions.

Contradictions can be classified into major two Categories

  1. Technical contradictions
  2. Physical contradictions


Technical contradictions

When one aspect of the problem is improved then any other aspect is bound to decrease

If the Torque & Speed of the Electrical Vehicle is increased, Then the battery life of the vehicle will decrease, Trade-off between the contradiction is important to achieve the desire success

One can refer TRIZ Contradiction Matrix for Technical Trade Off


Physical contradictions


These are situations in which an object or system suffers contradictory, opposite requirements. 

Example : 

Car needs to be Big (To accommodate full family) , But at the same time small enough (to easy manage and drive in traffic)

One can use TRIZ separation Principles to separate the requirement on basis of Time, Scale & Space


TRIZ Separation Techniques

  1. Separation
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Bypass


Separation: When we have physical contradiction we can 

  • Separate based on part & system
  • Separate it based on any condition
  • Separation in Time 
  • Separation in Space


Satisfaction: When there is chances to fulfil the contraction then it better to go for it, But it may require structural change

Ex : For 7 seater car to accommodate 7 person as well it to be small enough to manoeuvre may require detail analysis of the design of the car, part position, Engine Size, Possibility of reallocating part to different location to make space 


Bypass: Sometime it is possible to bypass the contradictory requirement altogether, With the help of sensor we can bypass the requirement of the person going in confined location to check the problem


Since the TRIZ Contradiction Matrix is a part of TRIZ software “TechOptimizer-3.0” Details of Knowledge Database of TRIZ Contradiction Matrix is out of scope of this article. However attempt is made to create the awareness of the concept by providing some of the Key Features

List of Features

  1.  Weight of moving object
  2. Weight of stationary object
  3. Length of moving object
  4. Length of stationary object
  5. Area of moving object
  6. Area of stationary object
  7. Volume of moving object
  8. Volume of stationary object
  9. Speed
  10. Force 
  11. Stress or pressure
  12. Shape
  13. Stability of the object’s composition
  14. Strength
  15. Duration of action by a moving object
  16. Duration of action by a stationary object
  17. Temperature
  18. Illumination intensity * (jargon)
  19. Use of energy by moving object
  20. Use of energy by stationary object 
  21. Power * (jargon)
  22. Loss of Energy
  23. Loss of substance
  24. Loss of Information
  25. Loss of Time
  26. Quantity of substance/the matter
  27. Reliability
  28. Measurement accuracy
  29. Manufacturing precision
  30. External harm affects the object 
  31. Object-generated harmful factors
  32. Ease of manufacture
  33. Ease of operation
  34. Ease of repair
  35. Adaptability or versatility
  36. Device complexity
  37. Difficulty of detecting and measuring
  38. Extent of automation
  39. Productivity *

List of Principles

Principle 1. Segmentation

Principle 2. Taking out

Principle 3. Local quality

Principle 4. Asymmetry

Principle 5. Merging

Principle 6. Universality

Principle 7. “Nested doll”

Principle 8. Anti-weight

Principle 9. Preliminary anti-action

Principle 10. Preliminary action

Principle 11. Beforehand cushioning

Principle 12. Equipotentiality

Principle 13. ‘The other way round

Principle 14. Spheroidality – Curvature

Principle 15. Dynamics

Principle 16. Partial or excessive actions

Principle 17. Another dimension

Principle 18. Mechanical vibration

Principle 19. Periodic action

Principle 20. Continuity of useful action

Principle 21. Skipping

Principle 22. “Blessing in disguise” or “Turn Lemons into Lemonade”

Principle 23. Feedback

Principle 24. ‘Intermediary’

Principle 25. Self-service

Principle 26. Copying

Principle 27. Cheap short living objects

Principle 28. Mechanics substitution

Principle 29. Pneumatics and hydraulics

Principle 30. Flexible shells and thin films

Principle 31. Porous materials

Principle 32. Color changes

Principle 33. Homogeneity

Principle 34. Discarding and recovering

Principle 35. Parameter changes

Principle 36. Phase transitions

Principle 37. Thermal expansion

Principle 38. Strong oxidants

Principle 39. Inert atmosphere

Principle 40. Composite materials

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