S.S.Litvin. TRIZ Tools Selection for Different Innovation Project Types

TRIZ Tools Selection for Different Innovation Project Types

TDS-2014, September 3, Prague

Simon S. Litvin, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, GEN3 Partners, Boston, USA, simon.litvin@gen3.com



Initial problem in modern TRIZ and subject matter statement


Practical TRIZ-consulting deals with various types of innovation projects, which differ significantly from one another in terms of their goals, constraints, duration and expected outcomes. The existing standard Roadmap for innovation project is quite efficient when applied to a certain average standard case. However, for each type of projects (as well as for certain specific features of a project), it makes sense to exclude some TRIZ tools from consideration (trim them), while in other cases, it makes sense to add some TRIZ tools (used infrequently in standard projects) to the Roadmap. At present, specific analytical and problem solving TRIZ tools are selected for application in specific project by TRIZ consultants arbitrarily – predominantly, on the basis of their personal experience and preferences. 


 Attempts to employ all currently known TRIZ tools within the frames of one innovation project lead to inadmissibly high expenditures of time and resources of project participants. In addition, results of application of various types of analysis and different problem solving tools often duplicate each other to a certain extent.

Generalized Roadmap does not enable one to efficiently plan the work on consulting projects.   


If we would like to shift engineering creativity to the direction of more or less exact science, it is necessary to work out a list of standard types of projects plus conditions for project execution and to formulate recommendation for selecting the most efficient TRIZ tools for each typical case. 


Proposed approach


The following is proposed to ensure efficient selection of TRIZ tools:


  • To compile a list of standard types of innovation projects that are most widespread in the practice of TRIZ consulting. For instance, GEN3 Partners practice shows that the following types of projects can be identified as standard ones (they will be described in greater detail in the full paper and author’s presentation at TDS-2014):
  • Product/Process Improvement
  • New Product Development
  • Technology Forecast
  • Cost Reduction
  • Technology Scouting
  • IP Evaluation and Circumvention
  • Technology Due Diligence
  • Prototyping/Verification (with secondary problems identification and addressing)
  • Developing Products for Emerging Markets
  • Technology Landscaping
  • Sustainability Improvement
  • Feasibility Study
  • Adjacent Markets Identification


  • To compile a list of standard specific features, conditions and constraints for innovation projects:

- Project duration (short-term project – less than one month, medium-term project – 2-4 months, and long-term program – from 4 months to several years);

- Project outcomes expected by a client (ideas, substantiated concepts, prove-of-principle prototypes, working prototypes, finished product or technology);   

- Type of innovation object – product, technological process, service, intellectual property, organizational structure, and so forth.;

- Availability of resources (number and qualification of project participants, project budget, opportunities for involving partners and sub-contractors);

- What is the position of the contact people at a company that has ordered a project (top managers, R&D, Marketing, Manufacturing, etc.);

- Availability of information about an object of innovation (availability of detailed information from the client, availability of experts, availability of prototypes, possibilities for on-line access to additional information, and so forth).       


  • To compile a list of currently available TRIZ tools (both tools from classical TRIZ  and developments of leading TRIZ researchers and practitioners):   

- Analytical tools for analyzing and modeling of innovation object and key problem formulation;

- Problem solving tools for solving the identified problems;

- Fundamental forecasting tools (e.g., Trends of Engineering System Evolution);

- Auxiliary tools (e.g., tools for Creative Imagination Development, Global Knowledge Network, computer simulation tools, FEA, SolidWork, etc.);

- TRIZ-based software tools.


  • To develop recommendations on selection of TRIZ tools for different types of projects and specific features inherent to projects.


Expected outcomes of this study


The paper will present a classification of innovation projects that is based on the above-indicated criteria, recommendations on TRIZ tools selection, as well as algorithm for developing out a Innovation Roadmap for projects. The paper will be furnished with few examples for different types of projects.