Uncovering Contradictions Using TRIZ

By Lilly Haines-Gadd

Part of TRIZ For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Triz is helpful when uncovering contradictions. A contradiction is when you have conflicts in what you want: either you want opposites of the same thing (a Technical Contradiction), or as you improve something, something else gets worse (a Physical Contradiction).

When uncovering and solving contradictions, follow these simple steps:

  1. Write down your contradiction in your own words.

  2. Identify whether you have a Technical Contradiction or a Physical Contradiction.

  3. Follow the steps below.

Whatever type of contradiction you have, you will be directed to a short list of Inventive Principles: these are suggested conceptual solutions that need to be put into practice as specific ideas. The Inventive Principles are triggers for your creativity to encourage divergent thinking and generate practical real-world solutions.

For Technical Contradictions

  1. Look up which of the 39 Technical Parameters best describe the contradiction you have written down.

  2. Don’t agonise – select a couple of options if you’re not sure.

  3. Look up your contradiction in the Contradiction Matrix and see what Inventive Principles are suggested.

  4. Apply the relevant Inventive Principles to generate practical solutions.

For Physical Contradictions

  1. Identify how you can separate the things that you want – in Time, Space, on Condition or by Scale.

  2. Look up in the Separation Principles table which of the 40 Inventive Principles are most useful.

  3. Apply the relevant Inventive Principles to generate practical solutions.