One of the goals of the project activities at production is to address a production issue. A routine issue is resolved sooner or later by conventional engineering methods. However, issues which cannot be addressed with conventional methods occur. Such an issue is caused by a challenge which can be addressed at the invention level only.
As part of our practical experience with inventive projects (for Samsung, in the first place), we tried several well-known algorithms for solving problems, separate methods and tools. The total of all methods could provide full-fledged methodological support of a project only. The correct sequence of their application is equally important.
Upon completing a first dozen of projects, a certain sequence of operations, a sign of a single algorithm began to generate. The first attempt of its systematic establishment took place when systematic and mass training of the employees in the TRIZ began at SAIT Samsung. The algorithm is known as the “Christmas Tree”.
When improving this algorithm, we relied on G. S. Altshuller's article Inventive-Problem Solving Process: Main Stages and Mechanisms. The article describes a systemic approach to work with a problem: transition from an problematic situation (invention issue) to a problem, a fundamental solution of the problem, and transition to a technical and calculated solutions.
The algorithm is designed to support addressing an issue with an adverse effect.
The work with the algorithm begins with describing the original problematic situation. The algorithm output is an issue addressed, i.e. an issue without an adverse effect. Our goal is to address an issue with an adverse effect, a phenomenon which does not satisfy the problem setter.
For each key operation of the work on the inventive project, a variety of innovative techniques and mini algorithms have been generated. The algorithm offered arranges them into a single structure, demonstrates the place of each tool in the work on a project creating a certain “control system” of the thinking process.
There exist three stages to address an issue:
- Analysis of the problematic situation
- Solution of the problem identified
- Analysis of the situation changed