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TRIZ for Engineers: Enabling Inventive Problem Solving Paperback – 11 Mar 2011

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From the Back Cover

TRIZ for Engineers: Enabling Inventive Problem Solving
Karen Gadd, Oxford Creativity

"Karen Gadd has introduced this exciting modern approach to innovation to many companies.. I am very pleased that she has now captured the essence of TRIZ in this well–written and very readable book, with its colourful and amusing illustrations, making TRIZ accessible to an even wider audience."––Richard Parker, FREng, Director of Research and Technology, Rolls–Royce Group

TRIZ is a brilliant toolkit for nurturing engineering creativity and innovation. This accessible, colourful and practical guide has been developed from problem–solving workshops run by Oxford Creativity, one of the world′s top TRIZ training organizations started by Gadd in 1998. Gadd has successfully introduced TRIZ to many major organisations such as Airbus, Sellafield Sites, Saint–Gobain, DCA, Doosan Babcock, Kraft, Qinetiq, Trelleborg, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems, working on diverse major projects including next generation submarines, chocolate packaging, nuclear clean–up, sustainability and cost reduction.

Engineering companies are increasingly recognising and acting upon the need to encourage successful, practical and systematic innovation at every stage of the engineering process including product development and design. TRIZ enables greater clarity of thought and taps into the creativity innate in all of us, transforming random, ineffective brainstorming into targeted, audited, creative sessions focussed on the problem at hand and unlocking the engineers′ knowledge and genius to identify all the relevant solutions.

For good design engineers and technical directors across all industries, as well as students of engineering, entrepreneurship and innovation, TRIZ for Engineers will help unlock and realise the potential of TRIZ. The individual tools are straightforward, the problem–solving process is systematic and repeatable, and the results will speak for themselves.

This highly innovative book:

  • Satisfies the need for concise, clearly presented information together with practical advice on TRIZ and problem solving algorithms
  • Employs explanatory techniques, processes and examples that have been used to train thousands of engineers to use TRIZ successfully
  • Contains real, relevant and recent case studies from major blue chip companies
  • Is illustrated throughout with specially commissioned full–colour cartoons that illustrate the various concepts and techniques and bring the theory to life
  • Turns good engineers into great engineers.

About the Author

Karen Gadd has been teaching TRIZ and problem solving with engineering teams from major companies for over 13 years. Her mission is to make TRIZ learning straightforward and the TRIZ Tools easy to use. She has worked on nothing but TRIZ since discovering and learning its power to give us all the routes, to all the solutions, to all engineering problems.
In 1998 Karen started Oxford Creativity to concentrate on developing simple and practical TRIZ problem solving for the European market. Karen has taken TRIZ to major companies including Rolls–Royce, British Nuclear Group, Bentley Motors, BAE Systems, Nissan, Pilkington, Borealis and Sanofi Aventis. Oxford Creativity is now well established as one of the world′s top TRIZ companies and has helped to make TRIZ well known and widely used throughout Europe and encouraged top companies to create expert TRIZ teams for innovative problem solving.
Karen studied Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, and has an MBA from London Business School. After working in strategy and corporate planning in the City of London she returned to live in Oxford and was a tutor at Oxford′s Business School the European School of Management ESCP–EAP (based in Paris, Oxford, Madrid and Berlin). From 1995–2002 she was a Governor of Coventry University. Karen′s career has been dedicated to creating new enterprises which make a difference – she founded both MUSIC at OXFORD and the European Union Baroque Orchestra and ran both for over ten years and raised millions in corporate sponsorship to make their activities possible. These successful music organisations still flourish. MUSIC at OXFORD transformed Oxford′s music scene and is now approaching its 30th season of top professional classical concerts. EUBO has celebrated 25 years of launching the careers of talented young musicians and has been so successful in its mission, that there are now former EUBO students in every major professional baroque ensemble in the world. Karen launched Oxford Creativity to make TRIZ accessible to everyone and transform and launch careers of TRIZ enthusiasts and champions. There are now thousands of engineers who have learned TRIZ from Karen and who intelligently daily apply TRIZ to solve difficult technical and scientific problems.
Karen is long married, has four children and three grandchildren lives happily in Oxford and the Lake District. Karen has recently become a director of the Orchestra of St.John′s and concerts and singing are still part of her interests and activities.

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Format: Paperback
TRIZ for Engineers. Wiley, 2011. Karen Gadd.

TRIZ (the theory of inventive problem solving) represents a short-cut to previous experience in problem solving. TRIZ has many champions including Karen Gadd. An on-going challenge to TRIZ, despite its champions' efforts, is that although many people have gone through training courses a good proportion of these same people don't use the tools of TRIZ and as a result are not able to develop their skills in TRIZ. Karen has spent many years facilitating TRIZ sessions and training up a host of people in the use of TRIZ. This experience has been revealed in her book, TRIZ for Engineers.

I have just spent the last two days reading the book from cover to cover. It is an engaging read. My interest stemmed from having been a TRIZ toolkit fan, user and creativity facilitator for several years. Karen has produced an excellent book on the subject and has used over 160 cartoons to illustrate many of the principles that are used in TRIZ to assist in problem solving. The cartoons really help in providing a temporary diversion of attention that helps to enforce the points being made while also being interesting and encouraging a thirst to find out more about the toolkit that is TRIZ.

As well as the excellent use of cartoons, I was also struck by the value of the bad solutions park to encourage a group to get going in an ideas session and feel comfortable in getting ideas out into the open. Karen also emphasises the need to satisfy multiple criteria in the development of a solution (delivering both the primary and secondary benefits) .

I have very few criticisms - some of the images and tables are too small, but the author has a web site that does provide access to a number of these and it is not a major issue.
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Format: Paperback
I liked TRIZ for Engineers. As a practicing engineer for 20 years, and as a student of TRIZ for five years, I have read a wide range of text on classical TRIZ and higher levels of TRIZ approaches used in inventive problem solving. The book presents real engineering problems in short form scenarios and through case studies that include detailed notes on how to use a range of TRIZ tools to generate solutions. The example problems are engineering based, but less industrial focused, so the examples have a wide application to the engineering market and technologist new to the basic TRIZ concepts.

The book offers problem solving maps and algorithms that illustrate how the TRIZ tools presented in the chapters can combine to form larger algorithms. The solution maps present through out the chapters flow through the early phases of developing a problem statement, identifying which TRIZ tools fit the problem scenario and onward to developing and applying solutions. The book also offers color figures and tables, which compliment the text as it illustrates how TRIZ is used to model systems and analyze functions. Thematic cartoons are included, as the author notes to bring some levity to the educational process. In my opinion, the cartoons present a physical contradiction as a reader, as they both add and distract from the text and the more formal diagrams and figures.

The author emphasizes that TRIZ is a set of tools, which can offer more than one solution to a problem and that all solutions have some level of merit based on the users needs. This perspective is well supported in the book's classical TRIZ modeling examples.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a chartered mechanical engineer and I've used TRIZ for about ten years in various engineering and design environments. I think it's an excellent read, very accessible for people learning about TRIZ and for people like me who want a hefty reference tome packed with examples and ideas. The illustrations are colourful and fun throughout the book, make it really lively and they really do a great job of embedding the principles and tools into your subconscious. TRIZ is much more than just the 40 principles, which are covered thoroughly, but the book really supplies you with a clear description of the whole range of tools in the TRIZ toolkit (again with lots of examples). I don't tend to use the whole TRIZ process on projects as I tend to run 1-2 day workshops with engineers and scientists and pick tools from the toolkit that are most relevant to the problem that we're trying to solve; the book is a very handy reference for flicking through and choosing our approach to each problem.

So, for engineers, designers and students, this is an excellent book that is applicable to every corner of your work. There's so much info on TRIZ on the internet, but save yourself the confusion of wading through it all and get this high quality, clear and thorough book.

If you've searched for this book I guess you already know what TRIZ is, but I'd just like to highlight that it is a range of tools born from the analysis of millions of patents - this is an engineering toolkit designed to exploit you and your colleagues creativity in the most effective way, enabling you to approach problems from many more directions than if you didn't have the tools. It is based on the analysis of a huge body of inventive knowledge within science and engineering, it is not management tool or `another creativity tool'. Enjoy!
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