Miri – 28 February 2013 – 40 academic and professional staff of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently learned some new ways of solving problems during a 2-day MyTRIZ Workshop jointly organised by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and the university at its campus.
The workshop was facilitated by Tan Eng Hoo and Ashley Cheah, senior manager and senior executive respectively from the Talent Division, MDeC.
TRIZ is a Russian acronym for ‘Theory of Innovative Problem Solving’ created by Genrich Saulovich Altshuller in 1946 to systematise processes and procedures related to innovation and creativity in the solution of problems. It is an international science of creativity that relies on the study of the patterns of problems and solutions, and not just on the spontaneous creativity of individuals or groups.
The TRIZ methodology has proven to be the most efficient for inventive problem solving and is applied by companies such as Boeing Corporation, Daimler Chrysler, Ford, Hitachi, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, NASA, Nestlé, Samsung, Toyota, Xerox and Whirlpool.
On the first day of the workshop, topics such as ‘What is Systematic Innovation?’, ‘TRIZ Methodology, History and Adoption’, ‘Structured Problem Solving Process’, ‘TRIZ Models and Tools’ and ‘Malaysia TRIZ Syllabus’ were discussed.
On the second day, Tan elaborated on topics such as ‘Engineering Contradictions’, ‘39 System Parameters’, ‘Contradiction Matrix’, ‘40 Inventive Principles’ and ‘TRIZ Applications in Manufacturing’. The participants also did a manufacturing case study exercise.
According to Tan, the most important part of innovation involves the teaching of methods as well as the transfer of knowledge through learning from others.
Associate Professor Dr. Alan Downe, head of the Department of Marketing and Management and lecturer of entrepreneurship and small business management at Curtin Sarawak’s School of Business, is excited about using the TRIZ model in his classroom to build critical thinking and problem-solving competencies among his students.
“I’m equally excited about using it as a research tool and exploring new ways of applying it in managing workplace environments,” said Dr. Downe.
Meanwhile, senior lecturer of electrical and computer engineering Terence Tan and university life manager Haslina Malek found the workshop highly stimulating.
“If the only thing you have is a hammer, then every problem is a nail. The TRIZ workshop did not just give me a bigger and better hammer, it also showed me many other tools. Now, with an expanded toolbox, I can tackle different types of problems with ease,” said Tan.
“I enjoyed the two-day training tremendously. I think I have caught the ‘TRIZ bug’. I see TRIZ as the possible missing link to drive entrepreneurial thinking in our students. TRIZ’s structured approach to inventive problem solving could be easily replicated and applied, and with enough critical thinking and practice, one could eventually unleash his or her innovative ability,” commented Haslina.