TRIZ is the Russian abbreviation for Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.
This technique has its roots in Russia, and the fundamental work done by Genrikh Altshuller. The word method is really wrong in this context, because TRIZ consists of many different methods and techniques.
TRIZ is the science of how technical systems develop towards the ideal, that is, having higher customer value.
Many technical problems have its roots in dissatisfaction of the functionality of a component or a subsystem. Issues like:
How do I increase efficiency?
How can I prevent break-down of a component?
How can I make the product more production-friendly?
In many cases, the real problem is something entirely different. The creative efforts should instead be focused on what the system should do, what functions should be carried out? Functions are formulated with the syntax noun - verb - noun, the membrane dampens pressure chocks
The S-curve describes how customer value is evolved over time, and is usually divided into four phases: Infancy, Growth, Maturity and Retirement. Each phase has its own success strategies and pitfalls and by knowing the position one can avoid mistakes.
The evolution of a system to higher ideality takes place in two different ways.
The most common way is to refine the system over time which eventually leads to a declining progress in development since the inherent potential is depleted. The other way is to make radical changes in the way the systems performs its functions.
A good way to analyse a problem is to view it from different perspectives. What is happening on micro and macro scale respectively, or analyzing the timescale before, during and after, or making it upside-down, in and out or back to front.
The different perspectives deepens the knowledge on the problem and stimulates to creative solutions.
A technical systems ultimate purpose is not to exist in itself, but to perform functions, i.e. to serve one or several objects or a user. The best and most ideal system is the one that performs its functions at the lowest resource consumption. Most systems evolve to higher ideality over time.
Trying to solve technical problems usually leads to a solution with unwanted features. A bigger motor in a private car improves acceleration but weighs more and consumes more fuel. Technical problems caused by systems conflicts is usually solved with an optimal compromise.
The methodology in Triz is instead to find loopholes around the conflict in time, space or structure. By solving a conflict, a jump to the next S-curve can be made.