1. Segmentation (3)
a. Divide an object into independent parts
Example – Divide an organization into different business units; Divide a product into Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat; Break deliverables into activities; Different focal length lenses for a camera; Franchise outlets
b. Make an object sectional – easy to assemble or disassemble
Example – Use contract employees; Customized Services; Rapid-release fasteners for bicycle saddle/wheel/etc; Flexible premium payment option.
c. Increase the degree of fragmentation or segmentation
Example – Empower all the teams with one functional skill, example Lean Thinking; push feedback mechanism till the lowest level of the organization; 16 and 24 valve versus 8 valve internal combustion engines; Work from home option for employees.
2. Taking out or Separation or Extraction (5)
a. Extract the disturbing part or property from an object
Example – Eliminate fear; remove waste from the process; Non-smoking areas at airports; Children only areas in public places; Eliminate performance reviews.
b. Extract the only necessary part (or property) of an object
Example – Outcome based pricing instead of activity based pricing model; Provide only highest value added services and products; Use barking dog alarm for security if you are not a dog lover.
3. Local quality (12)
a. Change of an object’s structure from uniform to non-uniform
Example- Put more effort on high value customers; Casual dress code for employees who do not face the customer; Drink cans shaped to facilitate stable stacking
b. Change an action or an external environment (or external influence) from uniform to non-uniform
Example- Take account of extremes of weather conditions when designing outdoor systems; create goals and objectives to the team members depending on employee’s strength and weakness.
c. Make each part of an object function in conditions most suitable for its operation
Example- Move operations to business friendly regions; move management offices close to manufacturing floors; Flexible work hours for employees; make the employee choose the salary structure; Freezer in the refrigerator;
d. Make each part of an object fulfill a different and/or complementary useful function
Example- Use experts with specialized skills rather than generalists; organize the department by process rather than product; re-hire retired employees for few hours to use their expertise.
4. Asymmetry (24)
a. Change the shape or properties of an object from symmetrical to asymmetrical
b. Change the shape of an object to suit external asymmetries
Example- Add more resources to critical process steps; Change the incentive structure depending on the seasonality in demand; Change the marketing strategy for each client; keys
c. If an object is asymmetrical, increase its degree of asymmetry
Example- Increase the interaction between different levels of organization; Move from waterfall model to agile methodology.
5. Merging (33)
a. Bring closer together (or merge) identical or similar objects or operations in space
Example- Move the supply chain department to the manufacturing shop floor; identify suppliers closer to the organization; Multi-blade razors
b. Make objects or operations contiguous or parallel; bring them together in time
Example- On job training; lunch time meeting; virtual trainings; Grass collector on a lawn-mower
6. Universality (20)
a. Make an object perform multiple functions; eliminate the need for other parts
Example- Cross training resources; hiring resources with multiple skills; make one department perform multiple functions; Swiss Army knife; CD used as a storage medium for multiple data types
7. Nested Doll (34)
a. Place one object inside another
b. Place multiple objects inside others
Example- Activities inside the work break down structure (WBS), WBS inside deliverable, deliverable inside scope and scope inside the project; Telescope; Paint-brush attached to inside of lid of nail-varnish
c. Make one part pass (dynamically) through a cavity in the other
Example- Activities inside the work break down structure (WBS), WBS inside deliverable, multiple deliverables inside the scope, scope inside the project.
8. Anti-Weight or Counter Weight (32)
a. To compensate for the weight of an object, merge it with other objects that provide lift
Example- Invest on sales and marketing when the market is down; acquire companies which are stronger in the weaker areas of the acquiring company; Hot air or helium balloon;
b. To compensate for the weight of an object, make it interact with the environment
Example- Post trending topics to attract more traffic into the social media channel; attach product or service to a cause; Make use of centrifugal forces in rotating systems
9. Prior Counteraction or Preliminary anti-action (39)
a. When it is necessary to perform an action with both harmful and useful effects, this should be replaced with counteractions to control harmful effects
Example- Perform risk assessment; Make clay pigeons out of ice or dung – they just melt away; What if analysis;
b. Create beforehand stresses in an object that will oppose known undesirable working stresses later on
Example- risk buffer; Pre-stress rebar before pouring concrete; standard procedures to rectify issues in the process; clear guidelines to handle non-compliance.
10. Prior Action or Preliminary action (2)
a. Perform the required change of an object in advance
Example- performs part of the process beforehand; fetch all the customer information before meeting the customer; Sterilize all instruments needed for a surgical procedure
b. Pre-arrange objects such that they can come into action from the most convenient place and without losing time for their delivery
Example- Pre-deposited blade in a surgery cast facilitates removal; keep all the inputs in order before initiating the process; publish agenda before the meeting.
11. Cushion in Advance or Beforehand cushioning (29)
a. Prepare emergency means beforehand to compensate for the relatively low reliability of an object
Example- Air-bag in a car / Spare wheel / Battery back-up / Back-up parachute ; Contingency planning; plan for the worst case scenario; include penalty clause in the contracts;
12. Equipotentiality (37)
a. If an object has to be raised or lowered, redesign the object’s environment so the need to raise or lower is eliminated or performed by the environment
Example- Remove authority during brain storming meetings across levels; move to flat organization with not more than 3 -4 levels; create horizontal career movement instead of vertical growth; Place a heavy object on ice, and let ice melt in order to lower it.
13. The Other Way Round or Inversion (10)
a. Invert the action used to solve the problem
Example- Make use of recession to hire skilled employees rather than laying off employees; invest on customer service instead of marketing to improve sales; make to order to assemble to order; To loosen stuck parts, cool the inner part instead of heating the outer part;
b. Make movable parts (or the external environment) fixed, and fixed parts movable
Example- Escalator, build the product at the customer’s location; work from home; hire qualified customers into the organization.
c. Turn the object (or process) ‘upside down’.
Example- renowned automobile company provided highest salary to the maintenance employee who worked the least to motivate the team to work on stopping the problems from occurring rather than fixing them.
14. Spheroidality – Curvature (21)
a. Move from flat surfaces to spherical ones and from parts shaped as a cube (parallelepiped) to ball-shaped structures
Example- Make the team work in a U shaped cubical to have easy interaction with other processes; Spoke and wheel system; ergonomic chair.
b. Use rollers, balls, spirals
Example- Ball point pen for smooth flow of ink; Mobile library; door delivery;
c. Go from linear to rotary motion (or vice versa)
Example- Rotate job roles; quality circles; develop circle of influence; use mouse ball to produce linear motion of the cursor through rotatory motion.
15. Dynamics or Dynamacity (6)
a. Change the object (or outside environment) for optimal performance at every stage of operation
Example- Continuous improvement; skill based routing in call centers; Gel fillings inside seat allow it to adapt to user.
b. Divide an object into parts capable of movement relative to each other
Example- Virtual teams working with co-located teams; investment diversified with respect to sector or company; folding chair
c. Change from immobile to mobile
Example- Bendy drinking straw; Google map street view; change roles and responsibilities depending on daily requirement
16. Partial or Excessive Action (16)
a. If you can’t achieve 100 percent of a desired effect – then go for more or less
Example- Over spray when painting, then remove excess; Fill, then “top off” when pouring a pint of beer; over communicate; When beginning a venture, “bootstrap”, that is, start small and grow from internal funding.
17. Another Dimension or New Dimension (19)
a. Move into an additional dimension – from one to two – from two to three
Example- Spiral staircase uses less floor area; 360 degree appraisal; penetrate new markets with existing capabilities;
b. Go from single storey or layer to multi-storey or multi-layered
Example- Multi-storey office blocks or car-parks; Organizational hierarchy;
c. Incline an object, lay it on its side
Example- Switch from vertical to horizontal career path; cross train team members;
d. Use the other side
Example- See the product from other angles (customer, supplier, competitor); Lunch on meetings; Produce in low cost countries and sell in high cost countries.
18. Mechanical Vibration (8)
a. Cause an object to oscillate or vibrate
Example- Electric carving knife with vibrating blades; catchball process of hoshin planning to get the whole organisation ‘vibrating’
b. Increase its frequency (even up to the ultrasonic)
Example- Over communicate; more performance reviews; Non-destructive crack detection using ultrasound; Having 15 mins training each days than a full day class room training
c. Use an object’s resonant frequency
Example- Ultrasonic resonance to destroy kidney stones; Use different communication techniques for different levels; Kansei Engineering is a Japanese technique to improve products based on customers feelings; Use of JIT principle
d. Use piezoelectric vibrators instead of mechanical ones
e. Use combined ultrasonic and electromagnetic field oscillations
(Both ‘d’ and ‘e’ use external elements to create vibration)
Example- Quartz crystal oscillators for high accuracy clocks; invite external orators to motivate the team; Use cross functional teams to address a problem all at once; involve the stakeholders of all the functions during product design.
19. Periodic Action (7)
a. Instead of continuous action, use periodic or pulsating actions
Example- Reschedule the project resource capacity based on the seasonality in demand rather than keeping it fixed; replace a continuous siren with a pulsed sound; replace micro management by macro management; Pulsed bicycle lights make cyclist more noticeable to drivers
b. If an action is already periodic, change the periodic magnitude or frequency
Example- Use of AM, FM, PWM to transmit information; smoothen the spike in demand by introducing discounts and campaigns; increase the review frequency for critical deliverables;
c. Use pauses between actions to perform a different action
Example- get work done between meetings; Inkjet printer cleans heads between passes; Give pauses while multiple conversations taking place along the same telephone transmission line; Invent in training of employees during low demand season.
20. Continuity of Useful Action (40)
a. Carry on work without a break. All parts of an object operating constantly at full capacity
Example- Self-tuning engine – constantly tunes itself to ensure maximum efficiency; Heart pacemaker; Continuous improvement programs; 24/7 customer service
b. Eliminate all idle or intermittent motion
Example- Conduct training during pauses in work; cross training to enable working in bottleneck functions to improve workflow; Rapid-drying paint.
21. Rushing Through or Skipping (35)
a. Conduct a process, or certain stages of it (e.g. destructible, harmful or hazardous operations) at high speed
Example- Use a high speed dentist’s drill to avoid heating tissue; Flash photography; reduce customer wait time; zero waiting time in hotels; fail fast, learn fast; make the process of firing someone fast; burn the excess inventory faster.
22. Blessing in Disguise(22)
a. Use harmful factors (particularly, harmful effects of the environment or surroundings) to achieve a positive effect
Example- Use customer complaints for process improvement; Use waste heat to generate electric power; Recycle waste (scrap) material from one process as raw materials for another (e.g. chipboard); use the employee errors for lessons learnt meetings.
b. Eliminate the primary harmful action by adding it to another harmful action to resolve the problem
Example- Add a buffering material to a corrosive solution (e.g. an alkali to an acid, or vice versa); Eliminate fear of change by introducing fear of competition; Put a ‘problem’ person on an assignment in another area where he/she can do well and not be a problem to the original group
c. Amplify a harmful factor to such a degree that it is no longer harmful
Example- Try to convert the bugs in the software into a feature; reduce the capacity to an extremely low level to identify new ways of performing the job; Use a backfire to eliminate the fuel from a forest fire
a. Introduce feedback to improve a process or action
Example- Thermostat controls temperature accurately; automatic volume control ina audio system; introduce cross functional feedback mechanism in the organization; introduce feedback mechanism at all levels; Use RFID to get instant feedback on sales and inventory; involve customer in the design process; Statistical process control.
b. If feedback is already used, change its magnitude or influence in accordance with operating conditions
Example- Change sensitivity of an autopilot when within 5 miles of an airport; increase the feedback depth for resources handling critical processes; Increase the frequency of collecting feedback from high value customers; Instead of waiting for customer feedback, some companies proactively use computerized information system; Change a management measure from budget variance to customer satisfaction
24. Intermediary or Mediator (18)
a. Use an intermediary carrier article or intermediary process
Example- Using a mediator or a neutral external person during negotiations; Use external consultants; Technical writers; wholesaler; Use a chisel to control rock breaking/sculpting process; using a black belt to drive process improvement
b. Merge one object temporarily with another (which can be easily removed)
Example- Gloves to get hot dishes out of an oven; temporary project manager from the customer’s company work on the project; subcontract housekeeping services.
25. Self-Service (28)
a. An object must service itself by performing auxiliary helpful functions
Example- Self-help groups; customer’s search history for marketing campaigns; Brand image circularity; A soda fountain pump that runs on the pressure of the carbon
dioxide that is used to “fizz” the drinks. This assures that drinks will not be flat, and eliminates the need for sensors.
b. Use waste resources, energy, or substances
Example- Use animal waste as fertilize; Study process wastes to design the process; re-hire retired workers as consultants.
26. Copying (11)
a. Replace unavailable, expensive or fragile object with available or inexpensive copies
Example- Virtual reality instead of physical prototype; online training videos; record customer complaints for quality and training purposes; Imitation jewelry
b. Replace an object, or process with optical copies
Example- Measure an object by scaling measurements from a photograph; Video conference instead of physical travel; use electronic copies of invoices and payment details rather than physical copies.
c. If visible optical copies are used, move to infrared or ultraviolet copies
Example- Use UV as a non-destructive crack detection method; Southwest Airlines cut its turnaround time by 50% through observing how the pit crews of Indianapolis 500 fuel and service race cars; use benchmarking to measure supplier performance.
27. Cheap Short-Living Objects or Cheap disposables (13)
a. Replace an expensive object with a multiple of inexpensive objects, compromising certain qualities, such as service life
Example- Use short term resources on contract during high demand periods; Disposable nappies/paper-cups/plates/cameras/torches/etc; free download of trial version of the software.
28. Replace Mechanical System (4)
a. Replace a mechanical system with a sensory one
Example- Replace a physical fence to confine a dog or cat with an acoustic “fence”; Video tape of lectures and CD recordings; Electronic voting; Use smells from bakery to attract customers
b. Use electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields to interact with the object
Example- Employee magnetic badges allow entrance to facility; Use GPS sensors to help insurance auditors, electronic tagging; Magnetic bearings
c. Replace stationary fields with moving; unstructured fields with structure
Example- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner; mind maps; Hand held metal detector; organize random improvement ideas; organize cross functional workshops in product design.
d. Use fields in conjunction with field-activated (e.g. ferromagnetic) particles
Example- Set performance goals by exposing employee to performance data; Value Stream Mapping using software tools; Heat a substance containing ferromagnetic material by using varying magnetic field. When the temperature exceeds the Curie point, the material becomes paramagnetic, and no longer absorbs heat.
29. Pneumatics and Hydraulics (14)
a. Use gas and liquid parts of an object instead of solid parts (e.g. inflatable, filled with liquids, air cushion, hydrostatic, hydro-reactive)
Example-Transition from mechanical to hydraulic or pneumatic drive; Have freeze, liquid and free zones within which customer can modify the placed orders; fixed and liquid assets; Use influence, or pressure, from environment as trigger activities; inclusion of ‘breathing spaces’ into contracts
30. Flexible Membranes/Thin Films (25)
a. Use flexible shells and thin films instead of three-dimensional structures
Example- Tarpaulin car cover instead of garage; ‘Cardboard police’ – 2D policemen or police cars over freeway bridges used as a means of slowing down traffic; one full time resource capable of performing multiple scenarios instead of using multiple resources and making the process bulky; Inflatable ‘passenger’ for lone drivers out late at night.
b. Isolate the object from its external environment using flexible membranes
Example- Bubble-wrap; Tea Bag; ‘Umbrella’ organizations; Isolate project In-Scope and Out of Scope by drawing boundaries on a process map; well defined roles and responsibilities;
31. Porous Materials (30)
a. Make an object porous or add porous elements (inserts, coatings, etc.)
Example- Use sponge-like structures as fluid absorption media; Drill holes in a structure to reduce the weight; special counters in super market for customers who buy less and reduce queue time; communication gets filtered between the layers of the organization; open communication channel between top management and the bottom most level employees to understand the problems
b. If an object is already porous, use the pores to introduce a useful substance or function
Example- Use a porous metal mesh to wick excess solder away from a joint; Empower employees in a customer facing role; reward customers who provide valuable feedback which is useful in product development; use TRIZ tools during the process of brainstorming; Fill holes in organization structure with expanded capabilities.
32. Color Change (9)
a. Change the color of an object or its external environment
Example- Light-sensitive glasses; change the color of the logo to change the brand image; change the color combination of the templates used; change lighting in the work area; highlight important points with colors.
b. Change the transparency of an object or its external environment
Example- Use bold to highlight important points; blur confidential information; increase the transparency of the information based on the role; Smoke-screen
c. In order to improve observability of things that are difficult to see, use colored additives or luminescent elements
Example – Use opposing colors to increase visibility – e.g. butchers use green decoration to make the red in meat look redder; use red/green/yellow in status reports; kanban; change the color of the applications depending on the criticality;
33. Homogeneity (38)
a. Objects interacting with the main object should be of same material (or material with identical properties)
Example – Make the container out of the same material as the contents, to reduce
Chemical reactions; co-located project teams; team members provide feedback to another team member rather than manager;
34. Discarding and Recovering (15)
a. After completing their function (or becoming useless) reject objects, make them go away, (discard them by dissolving, evaporating, etc) or modify during the process
Example – Use a dissolving capsule for medication; Use a dissolving capsule for medication; variable project team size; level loading capacity using contract labor;
b. Restore consumable / used up parts of an object during operation
Example – Self-sharpening blades; continuous refresher trainings; reusable templates; use old project plan, data and estimates.
35. Parameter Change (1)
a. Change the physical state (e.g. to a gas, liquid, or solid)
Example – Transition from mechanical to fluid or electrical drives; e-banking & telephone banking replaced by traditional banking; simulation software’s; electronic voting replaced by paper voting.
b. Change the concentration or density
Example – Liquid versus bar or powder detergents; increase concentration of experienced resources in critical projects and less experienced resources for less critical projects;
c. Change the degree of flexibility
Example – Use adjustable dampers to reduce the noise of parts falling into a container by restricting the motion of the walls of the container; increase the degree of customization in the product or service;
d. Change the temperature or volume
Example – Lower the temperature of medical specimens to preserve them for later analysis; excite the employees by giving new responsibilities;
e. Change the pressure
Example – Pressure cooker cooks more quickly and without losing flavors; create a sense of urgency in the team; increase communication frequency to reduce stakeholder pressure.
36. Phase Transition (27)
a. Use phenomena of phase transitions (e.g. volume changes, loss or absorption of heat, etc.)
Example – Superconductivity; have different marketing strategies for different geographies
37. Thermal Expansion (26)
a. Use thermal expansion, or contraction, of materials
Example – Thermal switch/cut-out; make use of the “hot” trending topics to increase the social media reach; deploy highly enthusiastic resource in challenging complex activities
b. Use multiple materials with different coefficients of thermal expansion
Example – Bi-metallic strips used for thermostats; have a team with mixed skill sets and employees with different stress tolerance levels.
38. Accelerated Oxidation or Strong Oxidants (31)
a. Replace common air with oxygen-enriched air
Example – Scuba diving with Nitrox for extended endurance; provide incentives, rewards and recognitions; bring in life coaches;
b. Replace enriched air with pure oxygen
Example – Control oxidation reactions more effectively by reacting in pure oxygen; remove mundane activities from skilled resources deliverables; Tie employee pay levels directly to company performance; for critical roles do not compromise on any skill requirement.
c. Expose air or oxygen to ionizing radiation
Example – Use ionized air to destroy bacteria and sterilize food; empower top performers with niche trainings; provide loyal customers with top notch service levels;
d. Use ionized oxygen
Example – Separate oxygen from a mixed gas by ionizing the oxygen; hire resources with technical, leadership and interpersonal skills;
39. Inert Atmosphere (23)
a. Replace a normal environment with an inert one
Example – Vacuum packaging; Operations Room;
b. Add neutral parts, or inert additives to an object
Example – Naval aviation fuel contains additives to alter flash-point; having a third person during negotiations; create customer relationship roles to bridge the concerns between organization and customer;
40. Composite Materials (17)
a. Change from uniform to composite (multiple) materials
Example – Non-stick coatings on cooking pans; use activities in trainings with music and video to increase audience engagement; Multi-disciplinary project teams; combined high risk/low risk investment strategy
Many of the examples were taken from articles written by
• James Scanlan Aerospace Design; School of Engineering Sciences,
• Darrell Mann Industrial Fellow, Department Of Mechanical Engineering, University Of Bath, UK (triz-journal.com)
• Ellen DOMB The PQR Group, USA (triz-journal.com)