TRIZ Papers:  SIT Method
Creative Design Methodology and the SIT Method
   Roni Horowitz and Oded Maimon (Tel-Aviv University, Israel)
   Proceedings of DETC'97: 1997 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Sept. 14-17, 1997, Sacramento, California

   [Posted here in Japanese translation by courtesy of the author, Mar. 6, 2000]

Preface for the publication in Japanese translation in this "TRIZ Home Page in Japan"
  (Toru Nakagawa, March 8, 2000) [Translated into English on Mar. 13, 2000]

This paper by Roni Horowitz and Oded Maimon was presented at the 1997 ASME/DETC as cited above, and its Japanese translation by Toru Nakagawa is posted in the Japanese page of this site "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" under permission with the intention and process as follows:

The present Editor, Toru Nakagawa, has been introducing in this Web site the USIT methodology (Unified Structured Inventive Thinking) developed at Ford Motor Co. as a simplified version of TRIZ.  Since TRIZ is a huge system of knowledge and methodology for problem solving, it takes time for us new learners to understand it fully enough to be able to actually apply it to practical problems.  Thus I think it more preferable to master some easier ways of thinking, e.g. USIT, which embodies the essence of TRIZ for problem solving and is easier to learn and apply.  USIT has been developed and practiced by Dr. Ed Sickafus at Ford since 1995 after adapting the Israeli SIT method.  And we are told that the SIT method was developed by Mr. Genedy Filkovsky in Israel by simplifying TRIZ.

In order to better understand TRIZ and USIT, I realized it necessary for us to understand the SIT methodology correctly.  So, in December 1999, I sent an email message to Mr. Filkovsky for asking what is SIT, why and how he developed it, and how it has been used in Israel.   But I could not get a reply from Mr. Filkovsky, who moved to USA around 1990 and currently is not working on TRIZ/SIT any longer.   Then I sent a similar message to Dr. Horowitz, from whom Dr. Sickafus learned SIT personally.  I received a reply from Dr. Horowitz soon, together with his two papers and his PhD thesis completed relatively recently.  Among his documents, the present paper seems to be representative.

Reading this paper, I asked the authors and ASME to give me permissions of translating the paper into Japanese and of posting the Japanese version publicly on this Web site.  Obtaining permissions from the authors (but no response from ASME for more than a month), I posted the Japanese translation on this site on March 8.  We, Japanese TRIZ/SIT/USIT learners, are very grateful to the following people for their kind permissions of the translation and publicizing here.

Authors:  Dr. Roni Horowitz (Dept. of Industrial Engineering, Tel-Aviv University)   email:
               Professor Oded Maimon (Dept. of Industrial Engineering, Tel-Aviv University)  email:
Publisher:   The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

The present paper by Horowitz and Maimon is written very clearly.  The paper was originally presented at the DETC '97 conference and obtained the Best Paper Award of the conference.  Abstract of the paper describes as follows:

The paper presents SIT (Structured Inventive Thinking) -- a structured method for enhancing creative problem solving in engineering design. The method is a three step procedure: problem reformulation, general search strategy selection, and an application of idea provoking techniques. The most innovative part of the method is the problem reformulation stage. The given  problem is modified through the application of  objectively defined and empirically tested set of sufficient conditions for creative solutions. The paper describes the sufficient conditions and the empirical study that demonstrates their appropriateness. Then the whole SIT mechanism is presented with illustrative examples.

This paper claims that the solutions to technological problems are deemed "creative" if they sutisfy the following "two (jointly) sufficient conditions" at the same time:

(a)  The solution does not bring in any new type of objects except for the types of objects of the problem system and of the neighboring objects ("Closed-World" (CW) Condition);
(b)  The function of problem charateristics of the system with respect to any selected parameter makes a qualitative change from an increasing function into a decreasing or non-changing function in the range of the system operation ("Necessity of Qualitative Change" (QC) Condition).

These conditions seem very tight and difficult to be saticfied, at the first glance.  But if a solution saticefying these two conditions is found, it will surely be deemed an invention, the paper says.  This paper has demonstrated this claim with an experiment.  And further, the paper clearly describes the procedure for finding such solutions and demonstrates examples of applications.  The procedure is called "SIT" (Structured Inventive Thinking).

Reading this paper, I understand much better the meaning of the "Closed World Method" for the problem analysis in USIT.  I understand why we are advised to think in the "Closed World" and how we should think with the "Qualitative Change Graph".  The usage of the four techniques for idea generation in SIT are also very illustrative for me.  It has become clearer to me what USIT adapted from SIT and how and in which direction USIT modified SIT for further improvement.  [See "A Rationale for Adopting SIT into a Corporate Training Program" by Ed Sickafus (1999).]  I can now recognize the slight but important differences in the target directions among the three methodologies, TRIZ, SIT, and USIT.  In studying and applying these methodologies for creative problem solving, we should also clarify our own targets and directions and select and improve the methodologies so as to fit for the purpose.

This paper by Horowitz and Maimon is very illustrative and highly recommended by the present Editor.

Dr. Horowitz has recently left Tel-Aviv University (but email address is still working), and has joined Compedia, a multimedia contents company highly successful in Israel, and is now developing a multimedia software/contents for creativity education of children.  In Israel there is a company named SIT (, working for the consultation of industries with the SIT methodology especially in the areas of marketing, advertising, etc.  There seem to be many more SIT experts in Israel, even though I am not yet familiar with them and their activities.

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Last updated on Mar. 23, 2000.     Access point:  Editor: