- Contradictions. Every problem to be solved is aimed at solving one or more Contradictions. There are Tradeoff Contradictions and Inherent Contradictions. A contradiction often consists of a tool and an object.
- The Ideality of the system. A measure of how close it is to the perfect system.
- Unseen idle resources.
For example, how can we serve customers in a restaurant faster without increasing prices? The tradeoff contradiction is that we can increase the number of waiters, so that more customers can be served at the same time, but that costs money and the restaurant would have to raise prices. So something good (faster service) also means something bad (higher prices).
We could compromise: hire waiters only at peak times, or fire all waiters and hire them back at a more flexible rates and times. But TRIZ does not seek compromises.
In the ideal solutions all customers are served quickly and costs remain the same.
There is an unseen or hidden resource: the customer. If the customer serves as his own waiter, the cost is reduced and the customer can be served much more quickly. Now the concept of a self service restaurant is well known, but it took from 1948 to 1954 to get established.
Definition: A good solution is one that resolves a contradiction.. Another concept is that of Patterns of Evolution. Systems evolve according to certain patterns, and these patterns can be used in many ways to get new ideas and predict the evolution of the system. Finally, there are 40 innovative principles that give concrete clues for solutions. Let's have them in a diagram: