by Darrell Mann
First Published: 2008 (First Edition)
Paperback (466 pages)
PERFECT: Perfect, Escape, Resources, Function, Emergence, Contradiction, Turtles
Posted by Hugh Greene on 11th May 2016
My company received some TRIZ training from another source a couple of years ago but it's seen limited use, partly because it wasn't clear how to apply the Contradictions Matrix to software, other than by handwaving analogy.
Two things motivated me to find and buy this book a few weeks ago. Firstly, we're running a couple of hours' "Introduction to TRIZ" workshop as part of Learning at Work Week 2016. Secondly, I realised in hindsight that a couple of solutions to software design problems here recently have clearly been examples of the TRIZ Inventive Principles or Separation Principles.
I'm pleased to say this book hasn't disappointed me. It's fun and readable despite its size, being part explanation and part reference. It has a new set of Technical Parameters for software, such as Amount of Data, Interface Complexity, and Loss of Time (wasted time), forming the basis for a new Contradictions Matrix based on analysis of software patents. It also changes the Separation Principles of Space / Time / Condition / Scale to Space / Time / Interface.
Aside from these traditional TRIZ tools there are some new ones. Perception Mapping helps you find the main causes of an ill-understood problem by having you put together a simplified cause-effect network from various people's possibly-unclear statements about it. There's also an application of "Blue Ocean Thinking" to competitors' innovation, to help you find aspects of innovation which others aren't exploiting.
My only criticisms are that the book could have done with a little more proofreading and possibly more editing to reduce the word count a bit; but this doesn't really harm its enjoyability or usefulness.
I'm also sad that it's not available as an eBook like the Business version, and that I can't find the worksheets from the back of the book on the website for download, as they suggest.
Overall, well worth the money and I think I'll get myself a personal copy, too.