Learning from my customers: Innovating TRIZ & the 40 Principles

I just had a lovely telephone call with a customer: Kent had attended our public 5 day TRIZ workshop in Oxford in July and I gave him to ring to find out how things were going. He was glad I called as he wanted some help applying the 9 boxes, as he is going to be running some problem solving sessions soon using TRIZ, but found it hard to work out how to apply the 9 boxes sometimes. We talked through the different ways you can apply it, but I mentioned a side benefit of the tool in problem solving sessions as a facilitator.

I find starting a session with a 9 box context map really useful for understanding the problem – you map out the history of the problem, looking at what happened in the past and what will happen in the future if you do nothing. Formally mapping out the context and details of the problem’s history helps me as a facilitator understand where the big issues really lie, and ensures we are looking at the problem at the right level. 

However he then mentioned that he had done some maths on the matrix and the 40 principles! He had done some statistical analysis and found that Inventive Principle no.35, Parameter Change, is the most often used principle. This I knew, but what I didn’t know is the next most commonly used principle. He found the order was this:

35 – Parameter Change


10 – Prior Action

1 – Segmentation

28 – Replace Mechanical System


I thought this was really interesting and I will keep an eye out in future sessions about whether these principles do tend to be suggested more often than others. 

What has been your experience? 

About Lilly Haines-Gadd

TRIZ facilitator, trainer, author and MD of Oxford Creativity - a TRIZ company based in Oxford, United Kingdom. www.triz.co.uk
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