Friday, October 26, 2012
ETRIA TRIZ Futures Conference, Lisbon Day 3
Andrew Martin’s title “Brewing Free Beer” drew an enthusiastic audience to his presentation on the development of Oxford Creativity’s free-to-use TRIZ “effects” database using ideality. Most readers will be anxious to use the database at http://wbam2244.dns-systems.net//EDB_Welcome.php Andrew’s story of how they decided what NOT to include was charming, but buried beneath the charm was a very focused goal of making the information available to TRIZ users who themselves would do the real research on each of the effects before using it in their research.
Lilly Haines-Gadd brought some classical psychological research into the industrial environment in her project “Does TRIZ change people? Evaluating the impact of TRIZ training within an organization.” No surprise that people who had been trained had higher levels of idea suggestion, but the low level of creative thinking skills was the same with and without training was somewhat surprising. Motivation and self-efficacy appear to be the driving elements, whereas skill is the enabling element. This was confirmed by the very high correlation between advanced training and the improvement in idea generation, but rather low correlation with beginner level training—the beginners had skills but lacked confidence. (Lilly studied an organization which had been trained by another company, not hers, to try to avoid bias about how the classes had been structured and taught.) The audience shared experiences with a variety of methods of measuring creativity and associated pitfalls.
Marco A. de Carvalho traveled from Brazil to present his paper on methodology and software for new product ideation . He started by reviewing both internal and external techniques for us, and the research on the the of use of the various methods. Marco contended that the external bias shown in the data is not justified by market success or by analysis of the ideas. Conversely, directly using internal resources (for example by means of TRIZ heuristics) there is a strong probability of ignoring market forces. To avoid that trap, he proposes that only the heuristics that are associated with value (customer-perceived value, which is a whole different issuei!) be used, not the full set. By re-defining value as Functions/Connections he establishes criteria for both generating ideas and for evaluating them. The approach was compared to trends of evolution and to conventional brainstorming: This system produced >50% creative and useful ideas, vs 30% for trends of evolution and 20% for brainstorming. A second level was with case studies, with qualitative assessment of the method by industrial participants in a variety of companies and product areas. The software system is a support tool for gathering and evaluating the candidate ideas. We are looking forward to more case examples next year!
The last session started with “How TRIZ beginners can find and solve inventive problems with 5 simple tools” by Sara Saliminamin and Mahmoud Karimi. As TRIZ has become more and more popular in Iran, they have found it necessary to help beginners get started very quickly, with great success, so that the beginners will keep themselves engaged and motivated. They had impressive photos of TRIZ on television, the local TRIZ association meeting, TRIZ in the Ministry of Education, etc. They reviewed their method of explaining TRIZ tools for their students.
Final paper of the meeting is “Technological innovation of a steam iron” by Erik Rojas, experimenting both with TRIZ and with a multinational (California& New York in US, and Besancon in France, with engineering, marketing and artistic members.) QFD structures were used to define the functions and attributes of the system, which related very directly to the contradiction matrix formalism of TRIZ. They explored numerous phenomena such as magnetic levitation and inductive heating and geometrical variants for lower friction and easier handling. He recommended additional study of the appliance industry, and strong combination with QFD for customer sensitivity.
A brief ceremony was held with sincere thanks to the organizers and the university and staff for all their hard work. Some people adjourned to the ETRIA business meeting and some to tour Lisbon, and all repeatedly said “next year in Paris.”