November 25, 2003

TRIZ...not just for kids

At Scient, everyone got indoctrinated with the "Innovation Workshop", a two-day seminar based on the work of Min Basadur. Scient had tried to distinguish itself from the pack of eBusiness integrators (SapRazLanViaProxiFirstXL) by claiming status as "The eBusiness Systems Innovator". I'm sure Chris "Category? Invent a New Category!" Lochhead was behind that one.

The Basadur-based workshop used a "Diverge | Converge" framework--similar to the stormin'-then-normin' idea we're all used to. Van Oech, DeBono, Gardner, etc. all tout similar processes.

So I just "discovered" TRIZ: Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. Way back in the 1940s, a Soviet patent examiner named Genrich S. Altshuller figured out that all inventive solutions have common principles. Forty, to be exact. Applying these principles to your problem suggests new insights, upon which one or two might be the aha! (in the Gardner sense) you need.

Most of the attention on TRIZ has been from the TQM folks. Us old-school IEs, who grew up with Taguchi and QFD, who carried laminated cards of Deming's 14 points in our wallets, dig this stuff.

Turns out that Business 2.0 did an article last June on TRIZ. I hope they're teaching it in IE schools these days.

Posted by jameshom at November 25, 2003 03:18 PM | TrackBack
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