TRIZ is a collection of problem solving tools based on studying world-wide patents. These include: Identifying and Solving Contradictions, Laws of Evolution, Ideal Final Result, Common Solutions, Su-Field Analsyis, Failure Prediction, and Failure Analysis.
Between 1946 and 1985, the Soviet engineer and researcher Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller and his colleagues developed an algorithmic approach to problem-solving, which they named TRIZ - the acronym for the Russian words Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.
In an effort to accelerate as well as improve the invention process, Altshuller collected, classified, and cataloged patents across industries and sciences, looking for patters of invention or configurations of invnetion types. By 1969 he had reviewed some 40,000 patents and eventually developed 40 Principles of Invention as well as several laws, concepts, and approaches that form the foundation of TRIZ.
Over the following years, the subsequent developers of the TRIZ process have maintained its database of invention models. Some of this knowledge base comes from the public domain. Some of it has been contributed by individuals. For this reason there remains some question with regards to who owns what.
Based on the hypothesis that there exist universal principles of creativity or patterns of invention, it follows that all solutions have been discovered. The TRIZ methodology relys on a knowledge base of such invention models. It applies them in order to unlock or find problem solutions logically rather than intuitively through creative inspiration or randomly with a brainstorming process.
A core principal of TRIZ defines invention as "the removal of a technical contradiction with the help of certain principles." TRIZ encourages the use of innovations outside the field in which the problem solver is working. It also encourages familiarity with the repeating patterns found in solutions to problems, the continuing development of new scientific effects, as well as the way inventions evolve over time.
Where to Learn TRIZ