TRIZ Forum:

Follow-up Discussions on "Current Status and Future Directions for TRIZ" (1) May - Dec., 2010

Comments by Ellen Domb (PQR Group, USA), May 12, 2010

Discussion by Toshio Takahara, Oct. 1, 2010

[Posted on May 16, 2010; Updated: Oct. 10, 2010] 

For going back to Japanese pages, press  buttons.

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, May 16, 2010)

This page contains the discussions (to be) posted from May to December, 2010.  The discussion articles are posted in the order of time (earliest at the top) for ease of following the discussion.  The contents are:

  "Comments on "The Journey So Far and the Way Forward for TRIZ" by S. Saleem Arshad" (Ellen Domb, USA) (May 12, 2010) (posted: May 16, 2010)

"Comments on "Editor's Note, Addendum" by Toru Nakagawa" (Ellen Domb, USA ) (May 12, 2010) (posted: May 16, 2010)

See more details of track records (especially including those which appeared in other sites) in the Index Page of the Follow-up Discussions .

Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Oct. 9, 2010)

The following article was originally sent to me on May 20, 2010 in Japanese, and I failed, to my regret, in posting it at that time.  Now the article is posted here both in Japanese and in English translation.

  Discussion: "To Make Dialectics and TRIZ Science" (Toshio Takahara) (in Japanese, May 20, 2010)  (in English tanslation, Oct. 1, 2010) (posted: Oct. 10, 2010)

Top of this page Domb's comments on Arshad Domb's Comments on Arshad, PDF Domb's Comments on Nakagawa Domb's Comments on Nakagawa, PDF Takahara's Discussion   Follow-up Discussion Index Japanese page

  Discussion (1-1A) "Comments on "The Journey So Far and the Way Forward for TRIZ" by S. Saleem Arshad " by Ellen Domb (May 12, 2010)   (posted: May 16, 2010)

Original PDF file in the form where comments are inserted in the texts.

[From the Editor (TN): On Arshad's article, I received an email message and detailed comments very quickly from Ellen Domb on May 12, 2010. The comments are posted here in the PDF file in the original form of insertion in the articles, while in the HTML page in the extracted form for the sake of compactness.]

[Mail message (Ellen Domb)]  Hello, Toru and Dr. Arshad: Thank you for a very stimulating exchange of ideas. I have inserted my comments into the version that Toru Nakagawa published in the current Japan Home Page.

[Introduction. 1st paragraph] But the contributions to the Taiwan Systematic Innovation meeting, the Japan Symposium, the Iberoamerican Innovation meeting, the Harbin, China, Computer-Aided Innovation meeting, the new Korea TRIZCON and the UK TRIZ meeting this week…and the dialog on the TRIZ India website, etc. would all say the opposite. Re TRIZ Journal, you’ll have to talk to the editor-publisher, Katie Barry, but I don’t think that the reduced number of articles in TJ is a good barometer of world health.

[Introduction. 3rd paragraph] What is the metric? Compare to Taguchi methods for Design of Experiments, or Dr. Demings’s “transformation” which have each taken more than 50 years to have some influence?

[Introduction. 4th paragraph] True of some specialists, and some of them are very public, which only causes companies to reject everybody. My opinion is close to yours—lack of acceptance is due to failure to understand what the companies need is not just (improved and enhanced) TRIZ, but a lot of other things as well to be ready for it.

[Introduction. 5th paragraph] (I think you make very important points here, but the article appears to be based on your opinions and observations, not on a study of companies that have accepted and rejected TRIZ, right? I welcome the opportunity to have this discussion, but your claim of objectivity might cause some others to reject this.)

[Possible Causes. 3rd paragraph] Agree with D. A,B, and C are individual problems of certain “experts” and they are teaching styles that may cause the whole methodology to be rejected by some students and their organizations. My observation has been that with ongoing internal classes (at a single company, where I have knowledge of that company’s technology, and their TRIZ results from early projects) A and B can be avoided easily, and acceptance is easier. It is also necessary to be very explicit about A—my way is to tell the audience that TRIZ was developed (agreed, heuristically) by observing smart people doing innovative things, and so these examples illustrate (not prove!) the method of the research. This has avoided the rejection that you cite here, so perhaps this is a heuristic demonstration that you are right.

[Possible Causes A. 2nd paragaph] Agreed, and the problem remains one of the conflict between protection of intellectual property vs. the benefits of publishing so that the rest of the world can learn.

[Possible Causes A. 3d paagraph] Agreed. Necessary to point out that this is an example of how the concepts are used, NOT a demonstration (except for the very few cases where it really is.) As a member of the TRIZ Journal editorial advisory board I can tell you that this is one of our most frequent reasons for asking authors to revise a paper, to make clear whether TRIZ was used to improve a product/service, etc., or whether this is analysis that shows how TRIZ might have been used, or how TRIZ concepts are demonstrated.

[Possible Causes B. 1st paragraph.] Complete agreement. (I use superconductivity and organizational “phase changes” and Fourier transforms of data…) And the old examples make students think that this is a dead system.

[Possible Causes C. 1st paragraph] I haven’t seen much of this. Again, not a problem when working inside a company, but of course, TRIZ has to have some acceptance for that to happen. Certainly if “experts” are doing this, it will cause some people to reject the system, not just the particular expert.

[Possible Causes D. 7th paragraph] No argument here. Much of the consulting world (You, me, Darrell Mann, Jack Hipple, Val Souchkov, Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman, Gen3 Partners and many others) provide value to our clients by “hybridizing” TRIZ with other methods plus the clients’ own methods to make an innovation system. The TRIZ purists (perhaps exemplified by MATRIZ, but I can’t speak for them at all) even acknowledge the need for enhancements to TRIZ, since their “Master” program requires the candidate to research and present a paper that expands/enhances TRIZ.

[Way Forward. 1st paragaph] The Product Development Management Association ( has published a “body of knowledge” and created a certification program. I am strongly opposed to certification in any of these methods, but their research is very useful, and they identify corporate resistance to innovation, and methods of dealing with resistance, as well as systems for identifying opportunities, etc. Strategyn (one of my consulting partners) has a series of white papers and books on methods for identifying customer needs through analysis of the jobs that the customers need to do, and six growth pathways for innovation. TRIZ is incorporated into both of these methods for resolving problems that cannot be solved using conventional methods (back to the origins of TRIZ—solving “innovative” problems.) There are many other hybrids of TRIZ with QFD, TRIZ with DFSS, etc.

[Way Forward. 2nd paagraph] I think my comments above include these proposals for change, so I won’t repeat them in this list.

[Way Foward. (1)] There are university programs (most significantly in France, Mexico, and in China) that are counter-examples. I have had great frustration trying to get universities interested in TRIZ, and I think that the reasons for university rejection are much more complex than this. I agree that until TRIZ is part of the university engineering AND business curricula, it will continue to have limited acceptance.

[Way Forward. (10) 2nd paragrph] Both agree and disagree. There are companies where Six Sigma, etc. are just “hype” and there are companies where serious people have done serious work and created company “culture” that is really working, based on Six Sigma. In those cases, incorporating TRIZ into Six Sigma is a very good thing to do, since the methods are fully compatible (using science, making data-based decisions, understanding requirements and constraints and customer needs, etc.) Data are sparse—I know of 4 excellent examples of serious Six Sigma with TRIZ as an aspect of it, and several dozen where trivialized Six Sigma is not a good “host” for TRIZ. BUT the good cases are enough for me to say that I disagree that one should “avoid the belief.” I also have done some analysis of the trends of evolution of TRIZ itself, and think that being absorbed into the supersystem is the most probable trend for TRIZ. This is not a “belief”—it is a tentative conclusion from research, where more data are needed.

[Way Forward. (11)] Daniel Scheu in Taiwan has started one (Journal of Systematic Innovation) , and Praveen Gupta in Chicago, USA has also started one,(Journal of Innovation Science) and there may be several others that I don’t know about. The hard part has been to find academic reviewers who are knowledgeable but not dogmatic about TRIZ, and papers that are anything other than the authors’ opinions. The emergence of >20 TRIZ-related discussions in LinkedIn, Facebook, Ning, etc. may have reduced the number of papers being submitted to any of these journals.

  Discussion (1-1B) "Comments on Nakagawa's "Editor's Note, Addendum" " by Ellen Domb (May 12, 2010)   (posted: May 16, 2010)

Original PDF file in the form where comments are inserted in the texts.

[Nakagawa (1)] agreed

[Nakagawa (2)] Agreed on both points

[Nakagawa (4) ] I agree for several different reasons.

1. Teaching is an art and a science. Excellence in teaching (especially beginners) is not the same as excellence in practicing the thing being taught. The students will become the practioners, and some will be much better than their teachers. (Analogy: music. The best violinist is frequently not the best teacher of violinists)

2. The TRIZ method must be combined with the subject matter knowledge of the field of the problem. There are advantages when the TRIZ expert is also a subject matter expert, but there are also disadvantages (“Psychological inertia.”) Having a TRIZ expert work with subject matter experts has been my most productive method.

[Nakagawa (6)] the group of engineers owning the problem{or marketing people, or strategic planning people—depends on the type of problem}

[Nakagawa (9)] Agreed. Very easy when teaching inside a company, as I said in my note on the original paper. Harder when working for public consumption.


  Discussion (2) "To make dialectics and TRIZ science" (Toshio Takahara)


To Make Dialectics and TRIZ Science

Toshio Takahara

May 20, 2010  (originally in Japanese)
Oct. 1, 2010 (in English translation)

I have read the following articles.

I am very glad to participate the discussion with Prof. Nakagawa and Dr. Ellen Domb whom I hold in honor.

We have many important points to be discussed. But here I will comment on the relation between TRIZ and dialectic and how to make TRIZ science.

1.Relation between TRIZ and dialectic

The good point of TRIZ is, as Nakagawa’s “Essence of TRIZ in 50 Words”  shows, that TRIZ has a viewpoint of dialectic. One of the problem is about contents of this viewpoint.

I think dialectic is method of dialogue in ancient Greek, logic of thesis-antithesis-synthesis in Hegel, materialistic dialectic of Engels and a philosophical course of study of Soviet Communist Party and something that include all these.

Recently I noticed that dialectic has a phase of logic and that of philosophy and thought which are originally united, I guess.

1) Dialectic as logic

Some articles in TRIZ Journal explain basics of dialectic. But contents of all these and other general textbook of dialectic need to be rebuild. I am reviewing existing logic of dialectic in my Home Page (sorry but in Japanese) and some results is shown as “Dependency of Dialectic Logic on Granularity and Density” in FIT2009 in Japanese.

2) Dialectic as philosophy and thought

Dr. Arshad shows “eleven aspects for our consideration, and to guide our thinking for the future”. Among them fifth one is about dialectic as philosophy and thought. This attitude is very impressive for me.

“(5) Fifth, is to acknowledge that the dialectic approach is the philosophical essence of TRIZ, by equally considering both sides of an argument. New insights can emerge when the two opposing views are considered in greater contrast, and the conflict, as it were, is intensified. An international journal in this field must allow for even sharply differing views to appear side-by-side, and let the reader gain from the exchange. “

2.To make TRIZ science

I agree with Dr. Arshad at the point existing TRIZ is not science. To make TRIZ science, we should work on the following issue.

1) Weak in synthesis

I completely agree with the followings in “eleven aspects for our consideration, and to guide our thinking for the future”.

“(2) Second, is to realize that most intellectual developments involve an analysis cycle followed by a synthesis cycle, and the present toolset of heuristics included in TRIZ is more supportive of analysis than it is of synthesis.”

“(4) Fourth, is the need to develop the missing innovation tools which are synthesis oriented. These have to provide a planning and structuring function to guide the application of the TRIZ tools and to address the issues of what needs to be done and in which order “

Chapter A- E of “Hierarchical TRIZ Algorithms” of Lally Ball [posted in the TRIZ Journal, May 2005 through Jun. 2006, and in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" in Japanese translation by Toshio Takahara and Toru Nakagawa, Feb. 2006 through Jul. 2007] suggest that we can make method to synthesize by idealization although it is insufficient. When I was an engineer the most I want is a method to synthesize. But now I have no power to work on the issue. I hope someone to do so.

2) Lack of logic in analysis also

It goes without saying that showing examples are not logic. But we tend to mix up example and proof. We must set a high value on examples and at the same time must not mix up example and proof. It is simple but difficult for me.

We need to enumerate objects, possible methods to change object and specify the object and the method to change the object. We have not logic to do so.

Dr. Arshad take “the example of the corrosive acid (HF?) and making the container from the material being tested “ in B. I also tried to make a logic without leap and take this example in “TRIZ as the Way of Life?” in Japan TRIZ symposium 2009. (For further explanation, please refer to the slides & paper posted in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" )

The followings are quote from it. I try to enumerate object and possible way t o change it.

System Objects which is matter are
      Cubes, Acid, Vessel (Attribute: cost, its value: C)

Process Objects which is movement, action or process are
       Test of Cubes (Attribute: operating time, its value: t),
       Hold Cubes ( Field: Gravity, Centrifugal Force, Surface Tension, Wind Pressure, Buoyant Force, Current,,
      Corrode Vessel (Attribute: operating time, its value: t ), (Attribute: rate of corrosion, its value: replace n times in t )
        Replace Vessel(Attribute: cost of vessel, its value: C), (Attribute: cost of work of replace, its value: Cr )

Examples of purposes are to
       Minimize cost of replacement per unit time (C +Cr) n / t: 1
       Eliminate Process Object that acid corrodes vessel: 2
       Eliminate Process Object to replace vessel: 3

Example of solution is as follows. If we eliminated vessel to eliminate corroding vessel by acid using Principle P, we could not execute test of cube because of a side effect that vessel lost the function to hold acid and cube. So we must resolve technical contradiction.

3) Application area of TRIZ

I have come to realize that TRIZ could be a unified thought and method applicable to every action in every area and become formal basic of operational science although its starting point is technology. I guess this position of TRIZ is useful for TRIZ in technology. But my opinion is different from almost everybody.

And I noticed dialectic as philosophy and thought is important in personal area and institutional area. This may relate to technology.



Top of this page Domb's comments on Arshad Domb's Comments on Arshad, PDF Domb's Comments on Nakagawa Domb's Comments on Nakagawa, PDF Takahara's Discussion   Follow-up Discussion Index Japanese page


General index New Information Introduction to TRIZ TRIZ References TRIZ Links TRIZ News & Activities TRIZ Software Tools TRIZ Papers and Tech Reports> TRIZ Forum General index
Home Page New Information Introduction to TRIZ TRIZ References TRIZ Links TRIZ News & Activities> TRIZ Software Tools TRIZ Papers and Tech Reports TRIZ Forum Home Page

Last updated on Oct. 10, 2010.     Access point:  Editor: