Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Global TRIZCON in Korea, July 10-12, 2012 Day 1, Afternoon

Good papers, chaotic organization, with 2 sessions for each of the 2 conferences, in multiple languages, plus judging the applications for the innovation award. As always in these reports, I'll only report on the events that I actually saw, and let readers get other papers from the proceedings.

The afternoon started with a grand cermonial signing of a memorandum of understanding between MATRIZ and KATA. The organizations have collaborated for many years, so this was ceremonial but not a real new beginning.

Very short presentations (sort of like advertisements for "go read the proceedings")

Helena Navas and Virgilio Cruz Machado presented "Modeling Systematic Innovation for Green Supply Chain Management, " a great precuror to my paper tomorrow. Will look forward to lots of progress here by the ETRIA meeting.

Hsin Rau presented his paper (with Daniel Sheu and Eric Tsai) on Integration between cause-effect chain analysis and root contradiction analysis. They have combined work by Mann and Souchkov with their own insights to find ways through the complexity of technical systems to get the problem that will be successfully addressed by TRIZ. An algebra using 4 operators was introduced to be able to calculate the influence on the outcome of varying parameters of the problem. Demonstration of the method for the erosion of blades on a windmill by rain, dust and wind was a good illustration of the benefit of joining the techniques.

Petr Shimukovich presented "New Method for TRIZ Contradictions" with translation help from V. Prushinskiy. He analyzed flaws in Altshuller's technical contradiction method, most of which were the lack of rules for generalizing the contradiction, and the lack of rigor in selecting the system level of the contradiction. HIs analysis eliminated previous definitions of "physical" and "technical" contradictions and used a graphcal language to analyze problems without reference to previous definitions. He has produced an extensive list of options withing 12 aspects of any problem and much more detailed than classical TRIZ in many ways. People interested in more detail can see the Russian book, with appendices in English and German.
Last paper of the session was by Zhao, Cheng, and Guo, "Packaging innovation design of red wine based on TRIZ." They used many of the tools of TRIZ, including classical contradictions and ideality, and some applications of ARIZ. The complex situation --packaging wine bottles in plastic-cushioned cardboard for ease of transportation while controlling cost, flavor, and impact of disposal on the environment--showed considerable insight.

I was able to rush to another session to hear Paul Filmore talk about his exploration of application of TRIZ concepts to solving problems in life, and he included the very useful reminder that some people may be good at generating solutions, but not good at implementation of the solutions, and vice versa. He proposed a translation between human relationship terms and the business matrix terms (developed by D. Mann) and noted that frequently, using TRIZ in a counseling mode, that the definition of the contradiction at the heart of the problem can be very valuable, with or without the use of principles of solution.

Last speaker in this session was Nikolai Shparkovsky (who I first met at ETRIA in Bath in 2000!) speaking about how to teach TRIZ when there is no time to teach TRIZ. He used great good humor as well as detailed TRIZ application. His spiral method provides increasing sophistication to the student as (s)he learns more TRIZ tools at higher levels of sophistication, and has the advantage of being usable at the lowest level by beginners as well.

Then I went to hear a presentation on one of the entries in the competition. The written material was only in Chinese, so I needed to hear the oral presentation. Judging the "Global Competition on Systematic Innovation" was very frustrating.

1. The names and institutions were supplied with the information, so it was possible that bias (for or against) might be part of the judging

2. Many of the projects did not use TRIZ appropriately, but the use of TRIZ was only 30% of the criteria, so a project could get a high score with significant misunderstanding of TRIZ. Many of the projects seemed to start with a random (literally!) choice of a tool of TRIZ, not a logical linking of the tocols to develop the solution. Others started with a solution, then backed into an explanation of the application of TRIZ. This is OK as a teaching technique, but this contest was supposed to be for situation where TRIZ/SI had been used for the actual solution to the problem.

3. Logistics were a nightmare--projects were sent to the judges in a variety of formats (video, powerpoint, word) and languages (mostly English and Chinese) then they were posted at the conference as small powerpoints, and presented orally if the contestant wanted. Most of the judges wanted to attend the full conference and not spend 4 hours listening to the conference presentation. So the projects were judged by written applications, or oral presentation, or some combination, with no consistency.

4. Most of the projects were student projects from a small number of universities. They showed a modest understanding of TRIZ and a modest understanding of marketing and manufacturing. They are not good case studies to use to teach TRIZ,

5. A very large amount of effort by the organizers seems to have been wasted because of the low quality of most of the applications.

6. PERSONAL OPINION: I don't think that this kind of contest, which gives many awards in many categories, is a good way to raise the standards of teaching or practicing TRIZ. There should be no awards if there are no good candidates, or there should be many awards if there are many excellent candidates.

Six Sigma./Lean practioners welcomed the presentation by Nagappan Annamalai at Intel Malaysia, applying TRIZ to simplifying both hardware and the process for burning in circuits, resulting in a 3x improvement in throughput. NA showed a very creative mix of tools from classical lean and from TRIZ to ensure a thorough understanding of the problem before rushing to solutions, which was appreciated by the audience.

Final speaker in this afternoon session was Prof. Dong-Yol Yang from KAIST, who focussed on the application of several models (left-brain/right-brain, Hermann brain dominance, etc.) to ideas about collaboration and teamwork for creative projects. Nonaka's model was new to me--the team progresses from Socialization to Externalization to Combination to Internalization, with leadership of the team progressing to people whose characteristics are best for each stage.

I'm posting this while the organizers are arranging the banquet around us, and a piano and some other instruments have just appeared, so it looks like we'll have entertainment as well as a great variety of Korean, Chinese, and other delicacies.   Pictures?   Readers of the blog tell me if you need pictures--I've had my picture taken dozens of times today with many fans of the TRIZ Journal and the Simplified TRIZ book--gratifying to meet people who appreciate the work.

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