Saturday, October 07, 2006

Can TRIZ solve any problem?

Can TRIZ solve any problem? This is the question that I hear very often. Sometimes it is asked by people who were not experienced in TRIZ but ordered TRIZ services and were unhappy with the results; and complained that a TRIZ service supplier who worked with them had mentioned that TRIZ could solve any problem. And I believe these unhappy customers are right with their complaints. In fact, my answer to this question is pretty straightforward: TRIZ can not solve any problem since TRIZ does not solve problems. Problems are solved by people while TRIZ is a method which supports problem solving process by introducing rules and guidelines indicating how to transform a problem to a solution. Can a computer solve a difficult math problem? Not at all, unless it is equipped with a proper software package that can process input data and generate output data. In both cases - TRIZ and the computer are tools, or platforms which organize and support the process. Being "equipped" with TRIZ, a person solves a problem. But software itself cannot solve the math problem without hardware. Similarly, TRIZ is an ingredient of a more extended problem solving framework, which usually involves different knowledge sources - from an owner of the problem to external experts who possess knowledge necessary to interpret an abstract solution idea produced with the help of TRIZ.
The bottom line: with TRIZ, any problem which can be solved, can be solved. But not by TRIZ.

1 comment:

Alok Asthana said...

Extremely well put. Simplified.