TRIZ Paper: Japan TRIZ Symposium 2008

A Comparison of the Problem Solving and Creativity Potential Shown in Engineers using TRIZ or Lean/ 6 Sigma
Paul Filmore (University of Plymouth, UK)
The Fourth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, Held by Japan TRIZ Society on Sept. 10-12, 2008 at Laforet Biwako, Moriyama, Shiga, Japan
Introduction by Toru Nakagawa (OGU), Oct. 26, 2008
[Posted on May 7, 2009] 

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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, May 5, 2009)

This paper was presented in an Oral session at the Fourth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2008 , which was held last September by 'Japan TRIZ Society, NPO'. 

The presentation is related to the concepts of 'Highly effective people' and 'Highy effective engineers'.  'Highly effective engineers' DOES NOT MEAN at all the skillful engineers who can work on a given job with high efficiency without thinking on the problem, on the contrary the 'Highly effective engineers' mean the people (or engineers) who can break their own mindsets (or Psychological Inertia, in TRIZ terms) flexibly and can creatively solve their problems.  The Author leraned the concept of 'Highly effective people' from a large number of references, and applied it to obtain the concept of 'Highly effective engineers'.  In order to be 'highly effective', what kind of attributes are necessary, what kind of tools and methods are useful to cultivate such attributes and to apply to the real probelm situations, the Author is discussing.  Many tools in TRIZ can serve to do that, this is one of the main conclusions by the Author.

The Author sent inquiries to several practitioners of Lean Engineering and Six Sigma.  And he found that these two methodologies have much room to enhance the methods in this sense.

Japan TRIZ Society is going to post the presentation files of all the Contributed Presentations in the 'Members-Only' area of its Official Web site ( ) in PDF in May-June, 2009. The present site, "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", on the other hand, is going to post several selected Contributed Presentations publicly, under the desire & permisson by the Authors and under the understanding by the Japan TRIZ Society. Slides of for this presentation will be posted in PDF, with the policy of updating prohibited, copying unable, and printing permitted.

The presentation slides are posted here in English in PDF .  The slides in Japanese translation were done by Mr. Mitsuo Morihisa, and are posted in the Japanese page.  I also post my introduction to this wonderful presentation, in the form of an excerpt of my "Personal Report of Japan TRIZ Symposium 2008" posted on Oct. 26, 2008. The introduction is now translated into Japanese and posted in my Japanese page of this site. 


English page   (This page) Japanese page
Nakagwa's Introduction Nakagawa's Introduction
Slides in PDF  Slides in Japanese in PDF (translated by Mitsuo Morihisa)
Paper in PDF  

  Paul Filmore's Paper and Presentation Slides

Paper in PDF   (8 Pages, 378 KB)  (Pulblicly open, Updating & Copying prohibited, printing allowed)

Slides in PDF  (34 Slides, 393 KB) (Pulblicly open, Updating & Copying prohibited, printing allowed)

Slides in Japanese in PDF (translated by Mitsuo Morihisa)  (34 slides, 409 KB) (Pulblicly open, Updating & Copying prohibited, printing allowed)

  Introduction to Paul Filmore's Presentation

Excerpt from: 
'Personal Report of The Fourth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2008'
by Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University), Oct. 26, 2008
Posted on Oct. 26, 2008 in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan"


Paul Filmore (University of Plymouth, UK) [O-6 #35] gave an Oral presentation on "A Comparison of the Problem Solving and Creativity Potential Shown in Engineers using TRIZ or Lean/ 6 Sigma".  This paper is an extension of his paper on "Highly effective engineers" presented last year in our Japan TRIZ Symposium 2007 and also his TRIZCON2008 paper. 

On the basis of surveying many references and his education experiences, the Author identified (in the 2007 paper) the key attributes to be highly effective engineers who can break his own 'Mindsets' and be creative.  The slide, shown right, summarizes the 8 key characteristic/approaches demonstrated by highly effective people.  This table shows the references of such key characteristics. 

*** It is important that the concepts of 'highly effective people' and their key characteristics have been derived on the bases of works of many authors and in the very wide scope.  The width of this scope seems to be essential to understand the significance of the present paper.


Then the Author lists up TRIZ tools and explains how they help us break mindsets so that problem solving becomes easy.  This table may be useful for us to understand TRIZ more, and for us to explain TRIZ to new people. 



Combining the above two tables, the Author shows Table 3.  For the key characteristics and approaches demonstrated by highly effective people, TRIZ provides various tools and methods as shown in this table.  It is remarkable that TRIZ has so rich contents for all the 8 keys.  As TRIZ learners and practitioners, we should master these TRIZ tools and obtain the capabilities of thinking in these manners. 



The latter part of the present paper is the report of the Author's inquiry research of the methodologies adjacent to TRIZ.  He sent the inquiries to some contact persons in manufacturing industries in UK and USA and asked to pass the inquiries to Lean and Six Sigma practitioner to fill in.  The following is the explanation of the inquiries taken from the Author's slide:

The questionnaire simply asked the Lean or 6Sigma practitioner to identify:
(a) Tools that had mindset breaking potential, i.e., Table 2 previously.
(b) Relate the tools to the previously identified ‘highly effective engineer key attributes’ i.e., Table 3 previously.
(c) Give a brief background to their company implementation of Lean/ 6 Sigma

Concerning to the results of the inquiries, I will quote the latter half of the Author's Abstract:

"The results show that Lean Six Sigma has the closest tool set/ approach with that relevant for ‘highly effective engineers’, with Lean and then Six Sigma of lesser match. It is shown that even with Lean Six Sigma, there is a place for a TRIZ gateway dependant on problem type, and a recommended implementation is suggested here. It is also noted that with all methods, some of the TRIZ tools are relevant to help with the general problem solving stage of any process. Overall in this initial exploratory investigation, TRIZ appears to offer great problem solving and creativity potential for engineers than Lean/ Six Sigma. "

The Author presented his conclusion in two slides.  Skipping the first slide for saving the space, the second slide of conclusion is shown here.  This is a very encouraging message for us to learn and promote TRIZ more.  

*** It takes time for us to understand the significance of someone else's work.  By reading three papers by the Author, Paul Filmore, I think I now understand the significance of his approach.  In his second paper, TRIZCON2008, I noticed the work of Steven R. Covey "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People".  The "7 Habits" series by S. R. Covey is really a best seller (a million-seller even in the Japanese language), I learned.  I was very much impressed with Covey's book. Actually I read (in Japanese) Steven Covey's original "7 Habits", Sean Covey (i.e., Steven Covey's son) "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens", and also "Records of 7 Habits Teaching in an Elementary School" written by Naohisa Watanabe, a Japanese teacher.  I have just started teaching "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" in my Seminar Class for university freshmen. 

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