INNOVATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING USING TRIZ METHODS Shree Phadnis

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1 INNOVATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING USING TRIZ METHODS Shree Phadnis One of the most important needs of an individual is the need to foresee and control future, this has been reflected in various myths and religions throughout time, and has spawned a variety of fortune telling techniques. People desire to know what the future holds, not just out of curiosity but rather for the purpose of being able to make necessary adjustments and control their lives. In an attempt to understand the past and predict the future there have been various techniques developed that would enable us to predict the future. Today we are in the informational era wherein the uncontrollable (Haphazard) evolution of humanity is the greatest danger. Until now human evolution has been realized though numerous random historical events of outstanding leaders. If we were to make evolution more manageable then we would need appropriate and effective tools and TRIZ offers one such technique that helps predict evolution based on creativity. TRIZ based tool of evolution is based on the assumption that The emergence and implementation of innovation is not random but is dictated by certain evolutionary patterns These patterns can be revealed through the history of innovations in various areas including technology, arts, sociology, nature, etc The revealed patterns can be applied to predict possible evolutionary paths for systems The phenomenal rise of Six Sigma in the last five years or so has had many practitioners and critics wondering as to what is the future of Six Sigma.Is it just another fad or a methodology that would stay for long and rewrite the history of quality. This paper will attempt to apply the TRIZ concepts to predict the evolution of Six Sigma in the future. Based on the various evolutions studied by TRIZ specialists the following were their key findings and emerging patterns of evolution. There are stages of evolution and they can be predicted Evolution will always be towards increasing ideality Evolution will move towards increased involvement of resources Non Uniform developments of system elements Evolution towards increased dynamism and controllability Evolution towards increased complexity followed by simplification Evolution with matching and mismatching elements TRIZ 1

2 Evolution towards micro levels Evolution towards increased use of fields Evolution towards decreased human involvement TRIZ 2

3 Based on the above evolution trends research indicated the trends of evolution to be detailed as below In order to apply the trends of evolution the system under study needs to be modeled functionally. To model as functions we need to beak the system in Nouns and verbs as shown below The functional model as shown above helps understand the entire implementation of Six Sigma from a functional view free from all jargon TRIZ 3

4 During functional modeling relation ships are typically depicted as below To study the model and identify opportunities for improvement we need to weaken the system model. Below is a weakened system model TRIZ 4

5 Based on the weakened system model TRIZ software s are able to formulate the various mini problems in the model and also recommend the appropriate tools to solve the problem as shown below Based on the mini problems formulated we can then use the various TRIZ tools to solve the problems. Example the technical contradiction between CEO hiring a MBB or Consultant and the consultant charging can be resolved as below To resolve the technical constraint of Consultant charging CEO, use other way around ie CEO charges consultant example, have a small portion as a fixed component of the consultancy and a majority portion as variable depending on growth of Business on various parameters. If results do not come the consultancy is back charged TRIZ 5

6 The TRIZ evolution trends are analyzed as an example below for Black Belt selection and then based on the trends we can identify all the methods to improve Black Belt selection As an example the following could be some of the strategies to strengthen the selection of Black belts Controllability Transition from Nominating Black Belts to structured methods of evaluating and defining career paths for Identified Black Belts Transition from selecting Black belts from existing org structure to having free wheeling Black belts from entire organization who will work across organization free from boundaries of Org Structures Evolution towards decreased human involvement Transition from human involvement only in Black belt selection to usage of other tools like, Psychometric Tests, Aptitude tests, Team Skills test, Analytical skill test TRIZ 6

7 Reducing system complexity Have a well-documented process that is simple to implement and no ambiguity exists in Black Belt selection Mono-bi-poly-Similar objects Identification as Black belt should also qualify persons for other growth areas like leadership development, Management Development and other skills set development programs Based on such detailed analysis below mentioned are some of the various evolutions that could occur in the development of Six Sigma. Evolution of Black Belt training Instead of only having Black belt training with feedback move to control with two way communication, meaning MBB positioned at site until Black belt fully operational and confident or excellent communication mechanisms leading to a feel of virtual MBB always present Set up mechanism of interaction from, and phone only to complete Internet based interactions Customer expectation evolution The best way of transitioning from service to Transformation will be to have a Personal MBB deployed from the consulting assignment on a permanent basis to sustain the momentum of Black Belts Segmentation Move gradually from mentoring groups of Black Belts to mentoring individual brilliant Black belts Evolution towards decreased human involvement Transition from human and tool used only to highly interactive automated tool like e modules for training Reducing system complexity Make every individual a Black belt or a Green belt in the organization leading to nonexistence of full time black belts, as Six Sigma thinking becomes the way every individual works TRIZ 7

8 Mono-bi-poly-Similar objects Six Sigma training will keep on enhancing itself with additional additions of other improvement models like Lean Manufacturing, Theory of constraints, TRIZ etc until it reaches a inflection point wherein trimming will occur and the new Six Sigma training module instead of having different add on, will have all relevant tools and techniques for all fields integrated in one methodology Dynamization Movement from selected individuals as Black belts and green belts to all being trained Mono-bi-poly Dis-similar objects The training material will transition from only Handouts to Handouts + Books + CD to entire features available in some kind of multimedia e package Rhythm coordination The current training model of three weeks gap and then implementation will further transition to training of two days application 1 week then again two days and cycle continuing to actually become training with periodic action matched to achieve resonant effect Customer buying hierarchy All customers will try to convert the trainings to their convenience and will look towards lower price Increasing polarisation There will be increasing trend in having many mediocre Six Sigma consultants however a few Niche will always be present Use of data Black belt training today is oriented towards knowledge dissemination and it will evolve to wisdom dissemination TRIZ 8

9 Evolution of Champions training Instead of only mandating Champions training the CEO himself undergoes champion training along with the other senior management and establishes a good two way communication and sets an example for the need of change Customer expectation evolution Instead of only attending the champions training the CEO is visibly a transformed person and will make Six Sigma his way of thinking Segmentation CEO insures that the champions training is suitably segmented to meet varying requirements of functions Evolution towards decreased human involvement In places where CEO cannot attend due to constraints his recording to ensure complete buy in is present to carry the message right to the senior leaders Mono-bi-poly-Similar objects Instead of only the CEO of the company being present during the Champions training it would be a good idea to have other CEOs share their Six Sigma experience to the team Rhythm coordination Instead of having only Champions trainings at the beginning of Six Sigma implementations it is a good idea to have repeat Champion trainings at resonant frequencies and CEO a visible person in such exercises to visibly demonstrate commitment Black Belts working on projects Install a black belt community to help each other thus transitioning from only point contact to MBB to complete interaction within all Black belts Customer expectation evolution Instill the fact that Black belts have to be effective change managers during their projects and complete transformation of organization to Six Sigma way of thinking is the ultimate objective TRIZ 9

10 Segmentation Scope Black belt projects carefully to ensure that multitude of properly scoped projects would actually lead to the goal of Six Sigma Increasing use of senses Encourage black belts to get out to work place and ensure that they are using all the five senses to observe and understand the process and thereafter improve it. Total involvement in the project is the key to successful time responsibility of Six Sigma projects is one way to ensure total commitment Evolution towards decreased human involvement Black belts today use Human and tool as the interface, wherein software s like Minitab etc are the tools used. The future evolution will be interfacing online data collection tools, data mining, neural networks, Simulation and selfprompting software s for better and accurate data analysis Reducing system complexity The most ideal scenario for an organization is there is no black belt at all but all persons in the organization are black belts and undertake projects in their respective areas on an ongoing method Mono-bi-poly-Similar objects Black belts undertake more than three projects simultaneously thus improving processes faster and proliferating Six Sigma in a big way Mono-bi-poly Dis-similar objects Black belts work on increasing number of project s but each of a different nature involving different skill sets example, Manufacturing, Transactional, DFSS, Value stream improvements etc, this way the black belt becomes more competent and also monotony of similar projects is avoided Project reviews Strive towards making senior management project reviews as a two-way interaction meaning that the black belt can approach senior management for reviews on a more frequent basis and vice versa Formulate appropriate Business councils so that project reviews are freewheeling and will yield in better commitments from all involved TRIZ 10

11 Segmentation Instead of fixed business council review members involve other relevant senior leaders from the organization at regular intervals, if possible invite other senior leaders or MBB from industry to participate in reviews to bring better perspective and commitment Increasing use of senses Instead of conducting only reviews in conference rooms visit the work place affected and interact with other persons involved in the project and see and feel the good work being done, as this will enable the organization to accelerate the change management process Mono-bi-poly Dis-similar objects Along with Six Sigma reviews conduct other reviews, like Financial, Business, Strategic, New product developments etc thus enabling Six Sigma to be the way we work Rhythm coordination Conduct reviews matched to the need of the business at resonant intervals of improvement Use of data Senior management project reviews will tend to look for leverage of projects across the organization in similar process or across business units of similar applicability s Project selection Project selection will gradually become a two-way mechanism wherein Black belts and Green belts in conjunction with Champions select good projects Project selection will transition from departmental projects to projects for the organization to projects for the industry and finally projects that will benefit the society Segmentation Project selection process will mature to have more correct scoped projects TRIZ 11

12 Evolution towards decreased human involvement Transition from projects being brainstormed to projects identified by human plus use of tools like score cards or Sigma Dashboards to automatic mechanisms where projects are escalated primarily through score cards, dashboards, competitive analysis and customer focus Dynamization Be completely flexible in project selection and move to do projects in supplier s domain or customer domain as long as the value chain benefits it is a good project to be undertaken Rhythm coordination Instead of continuously identifying projects identify projects in periodic actions through various techniques Scorecard Building Scorecard building will evolve into strong communication of the scorecard across the organization enabling stronger alignment and better control Scorecards have to translate into different score cards through strong policy deployment creating strong alignment within the organization Segmentation Scorecards need to be segmented to all levels of the organization Increasing use of senses Scorecards have to be developed from all the 5 senses, VOC (Voice of Customer), VOB (Voice of Business), VOE (Voice of employee), VOP (Voice of Process), VOC, (Voice of competition) Evolution towards decreased human involvement The scorecard should eventually be a fully automated tool wherein organization can see and act on scorecards on a daily basis TRIZ 12

13 Mono-bi-poly-Similar objects Scorecards need to be supplemented by Sigma dashboards, customer complaints analysis; customer won lost analysis, completive benchmarking, and other tools The above displayed evolutions are possible and more mature Six Sigma deployments might have already reached the maturity on various aspects. The entire analysis was conducted to showcase the power of TRIZ in predicting evolutions and could be bettered had it been conducted by a team of MBB rather than one person References: Software used Creax Innovation suite Hands on Systematic Innovation by Darell Mann About the Author: Shree Phadnis is currently employed with QAI India Ltd as their Senior Consultant and is a Master Black Belt In Six Sigma. He is an ASQ certified Six Sigma Black Belt, ASQ certified Quality Engineer and ASQ certified Quality Engineer. He can be reached at TRIZ 13

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