So we understand the circumstances, place and time of the conflict interaction. We have found the “sore place” of the problem machine, the core, the main negative event that generates the problem situation.
Now it is necessary to find the causes of the conflict and understand why the conflict occurs. While studying the conflict, we have already answered the questions “What is taking place?”, “When?” and “Where?”. Now we have to answer an equally important question – “Why?” To eliminate the conflict, it is necessary to remove its causes and to do that, we need to know them. It is critical to know which circumstances, events or actions lead to the conflict. There is a variety of causes why the system parts come into conflict. Conflicts should be revealed as it is an essential and important step of the solving process.
The personal experience as well as the ability of a problem-solver to use the principle of analogy also play a significant role in this situation. It is useful to understand the conflict nature and physical and other functional principles of a machine. Sometimes this is sufficient to understand the conflict causes.
We should seek for that but also remember that the causes of a conflict can be skillfully hidden, completely unobvious and difficult to understand. If the situation concerning the causes of the conflict is not quite clear, more effective methods can be used to detect them, such as building a harmful system and causal analysis.
About the work with TRIZ-trainer
At the input of this step, we already understand the structure and functioning of the machine as well as the conflict interaction between the system components and also know the place and time of the conflict.
The output is understanding the conflict causes. A thorough study of this step makes it possible to formulate adequate hypotheses and problems.
When working with TRIZ-trainer, building the structure of a harmful system and causal tree is welcomed. If the situation is simple enough, you can simply indicate the causes of the conflict.