Monday, January 14, 2013
Review of J.Hipple's new TRIZ Book
• Paperback: 208 pages, Prices from $99-129 on Amazon, also available in Kindle format $103
• Publisher: Springer; 2012 edition (June 26, 2012)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1461437067
• ISBN-13: 978-1461437062
Jack Hipple is a very popular TRIZ instructor. He works with the Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering societies, with his own clients, and with groups at conferences around the world on TRIZ for management as well as engineering applications. I was delighted when I heard that he had finally published a book that incorporates what he has learned in 15+ years of teaching TRIZ to a wide variety of audiences.
The title tells the story: The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It is a fresh look at teaching TRIZ. Each tool, method, or concept is tied to the IFR (Ideal Final Result) and each example is presented in terms of why the problem solver would want to achieve the IFR. The contrast to other books is dramatic! Many other books follow paths like “how to formulate the IFR” and “what is a trend of evolution” or “how can you apply principle 15….” Readers bog down in the details and never see the beauty of the whole structure of TRIZ. Jack Hipple doesn’t let that happen! By tying each lesson back to the IFR, he maintains clarity throughout the book.
A wide variety of examples, mostly illustrated, are used to help the reader understand how concepts are applied in diverse fields, and Jack puts particular emphasis on current examples, not some of the classics that appear in every TRIZ book. Use of information as a resource (and the availability of meta-information, information about information) is just one example—Jack shows that a police department can use the rate of change and location of cell phone signals to know where traffic accidents are happening, saving the cost of helicopters and other surveillance tools.
The tone of the book is definitely tutorial, and North American. It is designed to get the reader/student talking to the instructor. Explaining why a new prescription medication bottle is a good TRIZ example:
Do you call the pharmacy in case of emergency? No, you call 911, that simple-to-remember phone number. And what’s the first question they ask in a case of someone swallowing the wrong medicine? What did they swallow?
The casual tone and the specifics of 911 may be a bit of a problem for readers on other continents.
Each chapter has several tables, designed to be filled in by the reader as part of learning how to apply the lesson to her/his application. Minor frustration: the tables are symbolic, not big enough to write on, to turn the book into a case study set for a particular company. Other information in table format should not be—taking a list of 9 things and making 3 columns of 3 may make the book more compact, but it does not add to understanding the concepts being presented (chapter 11 has a bunch of these.) On the positive side, each lesson has several questions which are well-formulated to stimulate the reader to STOP reading and think about that particular lesson. I suspect that these questions will be very popular with other instructors looking for new ways to engage their students.
I am delighted that Jack Hipple did the work of translating his classes into a textbook so that the TRIZ students and instructors of the global English-speaking TRIZ community could learn his approach. The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It is a strong addition to the small library of TRIZ textbooks. I look forward to introducing it to my students and seeing how it stimulates new ways of using the IFR.
Ellen Domb, ellendomb (at) trizpqrgroup.com