TRIZ Paper:

No Need for Methods?
Peter Schweizer (MethoSys GmbH, Switzerland)
Presented at ETRIA "TRIZ Future 2007" Conference, Held at Frankfurt am Main, Germany on Nov. 6 - 8, 2007
Paper and Presentation slides / Nakagawa's Introduction

[Japanese translation by Mitsuo Morihisa, posted in the Japanese page on Sept. 7, 2008]

[Posted on Sept. 7, 2008]  Under the permission by the Author.   

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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Sept. 7, 2008)

The paper posted here was originally presented in November last year at ETRIA TFC 2007 held at Frankfurt, Germany.  

This is a very interesting paper discussing about the people's psychological reactions to TRIZ and how we should promote TRIZ.  I introduced this paper in some detail in my 'Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2007' , which was posted in this Web site in English on Feb. 8, 2008. The part of reviewing this paper is cited below.

We have just posted the Japanese translation of this paper under the permission by the Authors.  The translation was done voluntarily by Mr. Katsunori Ichikawa, an engineer working for a semiconductor/electric industry, Shindengen Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd.  He finished the draft on Aug. 1, and I brushed it up on Sept. 6.  It is remarkable that several excellent papers have been posted recently in this Web site both in English and in Japanese translation as the results of this kind of voluntary work by our readers.

We have just posted the Japanese translation of this paper under the permission by the Authors.  The translation was done voluntarily by Mr. Mitsuo Morihisa, who is a TRIZ expert belonging to Sozo Kaihatsu Initiatives (SKI) and recently studied in the PhD course at Kyoto University after retired SHARP Corp. We are grateful to Mr. Morihisa for his endeavor of translating the paper which is, as you see, very sensitive in its nuances. 

This page contains the followings in Enlgish, and our Japanese page does so in parellel:

(1) Paper in PDF.

(2) Presentation sides in PDF.

(3) Nakagawa's introduction: Excerpt of 'Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2007'  

We are grateful to the Author for his kind permission of our Japanese translation and posting, and to Mr. Mitsuo Morihisa for his voluntary work of Japanese translation.

Top of this page Paper in PDF English Presentation slides in PDF English Nakagawa's Introduction ETRIA TFC 2007 (Nakagawa Personal Rept.)   Japanese page

  Paper in PDF

Original Paper (in English)   (PDF, KB, 8 pages)  Click Here. 

  Presentation Slides in PDF

Presentation Slides (in English)   (PDF, KB, 18 pages)  Click Here. 


Introduction & Review of the Presentation (Toru Nakagawa (OGU), Jan. 30, 2008)

Excerpt from Nakagawa's 'Personal Report of ETRIA TFC 2007' (posted on Feb. 8, 2008)

Peter Schweizer (MethoSys GmbH, Switzerland) [42] gave a presentation with the title of "No Need for Methods?".  This presentation was interesting in its description of peoples' reactions to a method, e.g. TRIZ, and of our (promoters') choices of re-reactions.  In fact, there were a lot of discussions just after this presentation.  I will quote the Author's Abstract here first:

In the first part, the psychological mechanisms are explained, for example, why methods and tools are not appealing.  This is especially the case in R&D.  Really good ideas are often neither accepted nor realized.  In the second part it is shown that you do not need to be a masochist to propose methods.  Ways are shown, how methods and TRIZ could get a broader acceptance, or at least how hopeless situations can be recognized earlier, so we do not waste our time on them.  And finally, it is shown why and where, despite the resistance, it is worth going on with our support for TRIZ and other methods.

The Author first discuss how we, human being, perceive our environment.  The following figure shows our mental procedure of perceiving an environment and forming our problems.  After filtering information from environment, we form my vision "how it is" and compare it with my vision "how it should be".  If there is a difference, we have a problem. 

When we can live with the difference, the problem is no longer an acute problem.  Different professionals have their preference on how they reduce the difference.  Thus, "We do not want to solve problems.  We only want to prove that we are right.", the Author writes.  If it turns out that we are not right, we feel uncertainty, fear, distress, and conflict, and then show psychological defense reactions (See the following figure, left).  Defence is a very natural reaction for every living things, the Author says.  We often show resistance to the problem focus because of hidden profit (economic, emotional, etc. even without awaring of it) and fear against next goal when the problem is solved (See the figure right).  The strongest opposition is always based on emotions (usually fear), and these emotions have various origins.


Then the Author goes ahead to discuss about the nature of methods, and of TRIZ in particular.  The Author writes: "Methods do not only match with all the above causes, they even expect us to change the way we think.  They question the way we have always thought!  Isn't this terrifying?".  Concerning to TRIZ he writes as follows:

Besides the normal NIH (Not Invented Here) Syndrome, I have three more hypotheses why TRIZ has taken off so slowly:
1.  TRIZ is not just a new idea, it is a method and against our traditional way of thinking.
2.  TRIZ takes time to learn and needs continuous training.
3.   For an average R&D employee there is no opportunity to use it often enough to become a TRIZ expert.
[*** I would like to discuss about these points later.]

Concerning to the reality of TRIZ in industry, the Author writes four typical cases.  All of them are very interesting, but here I have a space to cite only the first case:

In a company that develops and produces installations for the building industry, the R&D manager buys CAI software and an intensive training for a team of volunteers. All R&D members get a short introduction in TRIZ and a presentation for what it could be useful.   From the volunteers at the end remain two champions who regularly support other projects very successfully. After three years, the R&D management changes. One of the champions retires early and the other finishes a post graduate course and changes to another company. The new R&D manager is no fond of methods and newly hired employees are not interested in them either. After 3 years of successfully using TRIZ, there is no more TRIZ experience and no more interest in TRIZ in this company.

After 8 years of experience in selling CAI software, the Author writes about three preconditions for TRIZ to be successfully introduced.  They are: (1) A champion (better a team of champions), (2) Management support, and (3) Budget to invest in education and probably also in software.  The Author also writes: "Most successful are companies where there is a team of consultants that support R&D project teams in solving problems with TRIZ and other methods.  Besides mastering the methods, the consultants' personalities are important.  They must be people everybody likes to cooperate with.  It is also important that these consultants work for free. Because the project leaders don't want to spend money when they do not know in advance what kind of ideas will come out."

On the basis of all these observations, the Author advises/proposes to promote TRIZ in the following ways:
(a) First accept the reality that TRIZ is (for different reasons) not attractive for most of the rest of the world.
(b) Do not try to change the world. Be patient. For the acceptance of new ideas, it always takes much more time than we expect. And if you are the pioneer in your company, move on slowly and carefully so that others can also follow you.
(c) If you want to be successful, sell the people what they really need, not what they say they want.
(d) Continue to be a little bit unreasonable!

*** This talk was so interesting that it raised a lot of discussions just after the presentation, though I cannot recall them now.  I myself got more and more frustrated (i.e., finding differences) during the talk.  Even though the environment may be different in Europe from in Japan, we should (or may/can) promote TRIZ better by slightly adjusting the TRIZ methodology itself and by adjusting ourselves, I feel.  Corresponding to Authors' points I have some short comments here (some of which I raised during the discussion):

(1) TRIZ is a new methodology, many of its methods are new to us but some are more or less similar to our original thinking and only few are 'against' our traditional way of thinking. Most of TRIZ is already westernized without loosing its essence.

(2) TRIZ should be and already is made simpler and unified (in the form of USIT, in my case).  Thus learning time is shortened already (2-dayUSIT training is enough), though continuous training (and self-training) is necessary/much desirable.

(3) We should not try to train every (or average) R&D employees to become TRIZ (or USIT) experts.  We should train a smaller percentage of R&D people as TRIZ (or USIT) experts who can guide and support all other R&D people in the real projects.

(4) It is important to raise voluntary pioneers of TRIZ into TRIZ champions.  Wider penetration of TRIZ information (e.g. by Web site) is necessary to get larger number of volunteers, and deeper information/training need to be available for training them into TRIZ champions.


Top of this page Paper in PDF English Presentation slides in PDF English Nakagawa's Introduction ETRIA TFC 2007 (Nakagawa Personal Rept.)   Japanese page


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