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There are two groups of problems people face: those with generally known solutions and those with unknown solutions. Those with known solutions can usually be solved by information found in books, technical journals, or with subject matter experts. The other type is called an inventive problem.


New knowledge applied to known problems.

Example: Replace metal by plastic.


New knowledge applied to new problems.

Example: Uses laser in CDROM


Existing knowledge applied to known problems.

Example: All tasks with known solutions.


Existing knowledge does not provide solution.

We are dealing with an inventive problem

    Known Problem   New Problem

     An inventive problem is a problem that involves one or more contradictions. A contradiction is a situation where an attempt to improve one feature of the system leads to the degradation of another feature.
     • When the strength of a mechanical object is increased, its weight increases as well.
     • A pen tip should be sharp to draw legible lines, but blunt to avoid tearing the paper.
     • Aircraft landing gear is necessary for takeoff and landing, but is undesirable during flight.
     The conventional way to deal with a contradiction is to look for a compromise or trade-off - however, there are many examples of solutions that resolve contradictions. This means that methods for satisfying contradictory requirements exist and can be exploited.

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> What is an Inventive Problem?
> Levels of Invention
> Problem Solving Model
> B-Excellence Partnership
> TRIZ for Business and Management
> 40 Inventive Principles
> Contradiction Matrix
> TRIZ Examples
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