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TRIZ for Engineers
on 14 April 2011
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. Although the author is able to cite case-studies where TRIZ has been the toolkit that has aided innovation, several of the tools are described using examples from the history of innovation where the individuals concerned did not use TRIZ. The toolkit that is TRIZ is powerful enough not to need examples from other domains.
Overall the book is an excellent description and manual for TRIZ. It is accessible and the cartoons enable and encourage engagement. I thoroughly recommend TRIZ for Engineers by Karen Gadd to you.
Professorial Lead in Engineering Design, Imperial College London.
14th April 2011.