Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"TRIZ Fundamentals" course finalized

Last week the first part of the course "TRIZ Fundamentals" at the University of Twente was finalized. It included 80 hours of studying the TRIZ theory and practicing with modern and classical TRIZ tools. But in fact, it took more than 80 hours: since students spent their afternoons each day working on the assignments, it took them more time than was planned for some assignments - sometimes I received e-mails with questions from students around 22:00. It was probably my fault: I underestimated time needed for practical work since I used to work with professional audience - people who had experience with working under tight time constraints.

However looking at the results of the course, I feel very good. I'd say each assignment (in total, there were 9 different assignments for each group of students) was done quite well with nice presentations. And overall, each student evaluated the quality and usefullness of the course either "high" or "very high". It was my first experience of conducting such a lengthy course at the university; and frankly, such high marks were above my expectations.

Among the topics which students liked the most, were Root-Conflict Analysis, Inventive Principles, Inventive Standards. Almost everyone mentioned them in final evaluation sheets. Although all the students managed quite well with ARIZ, they found it less attractive (except the method of Miniature Dwarfs or Little Men). It is understandable: ARIZ requires long time of "playing" with different problem formulations and this process gets fuzzy sometimes, especially if a problem does not fit exactly the ARIZ format since the very beginning.

Students present results with ARIZ

During the next phase starting this fall, students will use knowledge they acquired to help with real-life innovative projects at companies: either solving a problem which requires an inventive solution, or participating in innovative product development with the use of TRIZ.


Anonymous said...

In order to pose problem the way righ to ARIZ sometimes can be good OTSM Express analyzis of a problem situation based on the OTSM interpretation of Law of Engineering System completness.
This is good when you have one negative effect to be eleminated.

For more complex cases better use OTSM Network of Problems or even OTSM Problem Flow Networks (PFN) approach.

Valeri Souchkov said...

Using OTSM PFN is one of possible directions to deal with problem complexity. We use the following tools:

1) If we deal with a directly known negative (undesired) effect, we use Root-Conflict Analysis (RCA+) which gives a full picture of contradictions forming a problem which can be directly used in ARIZ.

2) For more complex situations, we used Value-Conflict Mapping (VCM)which by is similar to PFN but starts with customer and market demands which are mapped to contradictions.

Both techniques provide input for ARIZ in terms of exactly formulated contradictions thus making part 1 of ARIZ-85C obsolete.

What I meant in my message about ARIZ, was part 3 of ARIZ, where a problem formulation is converted several times.