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TRIZ (/ˈtrz/; Russian: теория решения изобретательских задач, romanizedteoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadach, lit.'theory of inventive problem solving') is an approach that combines an organized and systematic method for problem solving with analysis and forecasting techniques derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature. The development and improvement of products and technologies in accordance with TRIZ are guided by the objective laws of technical systems evolution, forming the basis for TRIZ problem solving tools and methods.[1][2] It was developed by Genrich Altshuller, a Soviet inventor, and science-fiction author, along with his colleagues, starting in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as the theory of inventive problem solving,[3][4] and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.[citation needed]

Following Altshuller's insight, the theory developed on a foundation of extensive research covering hundreds of thousands of inventions across many different fields to produce an approach that defines generalizable patterns like inventive solutions and the distinguishing characteristics of the problems these inventions have overcome.[5]

The research has produced three primary findings:

  1. Problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences
  2. Patterns of technical evolution are also replicated across industries and sciences
  3. The innovations used scientific effects outside the field in which they were developed

TRIZ practitioners apply all these findings to create and improve products, services, and systems.[6]


TRIZ in its classical form, was developed by the Soviet inventor and science fiction writer Genrich Altshuller and his associates. He started developing TRIZ in 1946 while working in the "Inventions Inspection" department of the Caspian Sea flotilla of the Soviet Navy. His job was to help with the initiation of invention proposals, to rectify and document them, and to prepare applications to the patent office. During this time, he realized that a problem requires an inventive solution if there is an unresolved contradiction in the sense that improving one parameter negatively affects another. He later called these "technical contradictions".

His work on what later resulted in TRIZ was interrupted in 1950 by his arrest and sentencing to 25 years in the Vorkuta Gulag labor camps. The arrest was partially triggered by letters that he and Raphael Shapiro sent to Stalin, ministers, and newspapers about certain decisions made by the Soviet Government, which they believed were erroneous.[7] Altshuller and Shapiro were freed during the Khrushchev Thaw following Stalin's death in 1953 [8] and returned to Baku.

The first paper on TRIZ titled "On the psychology of inventive creation" was published in 1956 in "Issues in Psychology" (Voprosi Psichologii) journal.[9]

Altshuller also observed clever and creative people at work: he uncovered patterns in their thinking and developed thinking tools and techniques to model this "talented thinking". These tools include Smart Little People[10] and Thinking in Time and Scale (or the Screens of Talented Thought).[11]

In 1986, Altshuller switched his attention away from technical TRIZ, and started investigating the development of individual creativity. He also developed a version of TRIZ for children, which was trialed in various schools.[12] In 1989 the TRIZ Association was formed, with Altshuller chosen as president.

Following the end of the Cold War, the waves of emigrants from the former Soviet Union brought TRIZ to other countries. They drew attention to it overseas.[13] In 1995 the Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies was established in Boston.

Basic principles

Prism of TRIZ
Contradictions Matrix
40 principles of TRIZ method rendered schematically

One of the tools which evolved as an extension of the 40 principles was a contradiction matrix.[14]

French-English TRIZ principles and English Contradiction Matrix

Basic terms

Inventive principles and the matrix of contradictions

Altshuller screened patents to discover what kind of contradictions were resolved or dissolved by the invention and how this had been achieved. From this, he developed a set of 40 inventive principles and later a matrix of contradictions.[14]

Use of TRIZ on management problems

Although TRIZ was developed from the analysis of technical systems, it has been used widely to understand and solve complex management problems. Examples include finding additional cost savings for the legal department of a local government body: the inventive solution generated was to generate additional revenue [insert reference to cost-cutting in local government case study]. The results of the TRIZ work are expected to generate £1.7 m in profit in the first 5 years.[16]

Use of TRIZ methods in industry

Case studies on the use of TRIZ are challenging to acquire as many companies believe TRIZ gives them a competitive advantage and are reluctant to publicize their adoption of the method[citation needed]. However, some examples are available: Samsung is the most famous success story and has invested heavily in embedding TRIZ use throughout the company, right up to and including the CEO; "In 2003 TRIZ led to 50 new patents for Samsung and in 2004 one project alone, a DVD pick-up innovation, saved Samsung over $100 million. TRIZ is now an obligatory skill set if you want to advance within Samsung".[17][citation needed]

Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and GE are all documented users of TRIZ;[18] Mars has documented how applying TRIZ led to a new patent for chocolate packaging.[19]

TRIZ has also been used successfully by Leafield Engineering, Smart Stabilizer Systems, and Buro Happold to solve problems and generate new patents.[20]

Various promoters of TRIZ reported that car companies Rolls-Royce,[21] Ford, and Daimler-Chrysler, Johnson & Johnson, aeronautics companies Boeing, NASA, technology companies Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, General Electric, Xerox, IBM, LG, Samsung, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Expedia and Kodak have used TRIZ methods in some projects.[8][22][23][24]

European TRIZ Association

The European TRIZ Association is a nonprofit association;[25] based in Germany, founded in 2000.[26] it holds conferences with associated publications.[27]

Modifications and derivatives

  1. SIT (systematic inventive thinking) & SIT Company - A company developed based on this method
  2. USIT (unified structured inventive thinking)
  3. TOP-TRIZ (a modern version of further developed and integrated TRIZ methods.) “TOP-TRIZ includes further development of problem formulation and problem modeling, development of Standard Solutions into Standard Techniques, further development of ARIZ and Technology Forecasting. TOP-TRIZ has integrated its methods into a universal and user-friendly system for innovation.” [28]
  4. In 1992, several TRIZ practitioners fleeing the collapsing Soviet Union relocated and formed a company named Ideation International, Inc.[29] Under the Ideation banner, they continued to develop their version of TRIZ and named it I-TRIZ. I-TRIZ consists of four methodologies: Inventive Problem Solving (IPS), Anticipatory Failure Determination (AFD), Intellectual Property (IP), and Directed Evolution (DE), as well as a knowledge base of over 400 "operators" where each operator is an innovative concept gleaned from the study of international patents stemming from Altshuller's original work.

See also


  1. ^ Royzen, Zinovy (1993). “Application TRIZ in Value Management and Quality Improvement”. SAVE PROCEEDINGS Vol. XXVIII,  94-101.
  2. ^ Hua, Z.; Yang, J.; Coulibaly, S.; Zhang, B. (2006). "Integration TRIZ with problem-solving tools: a literature review from 1995 to 2006". International Journal of Business Innovation and Research. 1 (1–2): 111–128. doi:10.1504/IJBIR.2006.011091. Retrieved 2 October 2010.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Barry, Katie; Domb, Ellen; Slocum, Michael S. "Triz - What is Triz". Real Innovation Network. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  4. ^ Sheng, I. L. S.; Kok-Soo, T. (2010). "Eco-Efficient Product Design Using theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) Principles". American Journal of Applied Sciences. 7 (6): 852–858. doi:10.3844/ajassp.2010.852.858.
  5. ^ Vidal, Rosario; Salmeron, Jose L.; Mena, Angel; Chulvi, Vicente (2015). "Fuzzy Cognitive Map-based selection of TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) trends for eco-innovation of ceramic industry products". Journal of Cleaner Production. 107: 202–214. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.04.131. hdl:10234/159616.
  6. ^ "What is TRIZ?". Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Генрих Саулович Альтшуллер (Genrich Saulovich Altshuller - short biography)". Archived from the original on 4 November 2010.
  8. ^ a b Wallace, Mark (29 June 2000). "The science of invention". Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  9. ^ Altshuller, G. S.; Shapiro, R. B. (1956). "О Психологии изобретательского творчества (On the psychology of inventive creation)". Вопросы Психологии (The Psychological Issues) (in Russian) (6): 37–39. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  10. ^ [reference to p 110] Altshuller, G.S. (1984) Creativity as an Exact Science: the Theory of the Solution of Inventive Problems Archived 2015-05-30 at the Wayback Machine Translated by Williams, A. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers Inc]
  11. ^ [reference to p 121] Altshuller, G.S. (1984) Creativity as an Exact Science: the Theory of the Solution of Inventive Problems Translated by Williams, A. Gordon, and Breach Science Publishers Inc]
  12. ^ "A brief history of TRIZ" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  13. ^ Webb, Alan (August 2002). "TRIZ: an inventive approach to invention". Manufacturing Engineer. 12 (3): 117–124. doi:10.1049/em:20020302.
  14. ^ a b "Contradictions Matrix - TRIZ Tools Oxford Creativity". Archived from the original on 22 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Rezultat Idealny - TRIZ - Baza Wiedzy, Szkolenia, Warsztaty, Wdrożenia Feed".
  16. ^ "'The overall benefits are potentially enormous': Bucks County Council granted ABS license with emergency services group". 8 August 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  17. ^ Shaughnessy, Haydn. "What Makes Samsung Such An Innovative Company?". Forbes. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Mars Chocolate Packaging Case Study". Archived from the original on 20 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Manufacturing". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015.
  21. ^ Gadd, Karen (2011). TRIZ for Engineers. United Kingdom: Wileys. p. 38. ISBN 978-0470741887.
  22. ^ Jana, Reena (31 May 2006). "The World According to TRIZ". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  23. ^ Hamm, Steve (25 December 2008). "Tech Innovations for Tough Times". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 9 January 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  24. ^ Lewis, Peter (19 September 2005). "A Perpetual Crisis Machine". Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  25. ^ "ETRIA portal". Archived from the original on 1 November 2017.
  26. ^ "ETRIA – European TRIZ Association". 21 January 2001. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  27. ^ "European TRIZ Association". WorldCat. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  28. ^ Royzen, Zinovy (2014), “TOP-TRIZ, Method for Innovation, Applications, Implementation.” The 5th International Conference on Systematic Innovation, San Jose, CA, July 16–18, 2014, Proceeding, ISBN 978-986-90782-1-4, Pages 253-282.
  29. ^ "Who We Are". Ideation International. Retrieved 17 October 2022.

Books on TRIZ