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TRIZ Problem Solving:
Consulting vs. Facilitation

TRIZfest 2017, September 14-16, 2017. Krakow, Poland

Len Kaplan, Jerzy Obojski


     TRIZ Problem Solving as a major activity of TRIZ experts accumulated multiple traditions. Some of them are quite useful, while other could reduce efficiency or even harm TRIZ experts’ success. One of traditions, seemingly inherited to TRIZ practices, could be described as “TRIZ expert solves the client’s problem.”

     This tradition is, probably, as old as TRIZ itself is. Its justification sounds reasonable, “Only expert in use of TRIZ methods, approaches, techniques and tools can find the best possible solution to tough problem.” However, thorough analysis of root causes of main troubles associated with TRIZ Problem Solving points out to this tradition as a fundamental reason for their occurrence. The list of such troubles includes, but is not limited to, difficulties with revealing the best Resources for realization of Solution, need for overcoming the client’s Psychological Inertia, and inevitable fight with ‘Not Invented Here’ (NIH) Syndrome.

     These troubles deeply rooted in tradition of Consulting create problems to vast majority of TRIZ experts. How to resolve these problems? The only reasonable way is, reconsider the tradition. Authors consider the efficient alternative approach, Facilitation. One could describe this approach as “Client’s experts, on their own, under guidance of TRIZ expert, solve their own problems and implement the solutions.”

     Naturally, the Facilitation approach is accompanied with its own problems. We should face these problems, formulate and address them. Such problems are, for instance, realistic planning and scheduling of facilitated work, time management during the facilitated sessions, changing the activities during facilitation work to keep energy and efficiency of project team high.

Keywords: TRIZ, Problem Solving, TRIZ expertise, ‘Not Invented Here’ (NIH) Syndrome, Resources, Psychological Inertia, Consulting, Facilitation, Classical TRIZ, GB TRIZ, Guided Brainstorming.

1. Introduction: Two Approaches to TRIZ Problem Solving

     Problem Solving is the most popular TRIZ activity. It has the longest history in TRIZ, as well. Accordingly, most of traditions accumulated in TRIZ belong to this activity.

     As any traditions, they are mostly useful. However, there are many traditions reducing the efficiency of TRIZ or even harming the TRIZ experts’ success. “TRIZ expert solves the client’s problem” is one of such controversial traditions.

This tradition was born, probably, together with TRIZ. TRIZ was born as a method to invent, to solve the “inventive” problems. The key assumption was, a person trained in TRIZ can invent and solve the tough problems in any area of engineering or even in any area of human activities. Was this assumption correct? To some extent, yes. TRIZ methods, approaches, techniques and tools help finding the best possible solution to the problem-at-hand. However, if we look closely at the major troubles associated with TRIZ Problem-Solving consulting, if we dig for root causes of these troubles, our search would point out to this assumption as the fundamental reason for occurrence of such troubles. The list of these troubles features issues ranging from NIH (Not Invented Here) Syndrome to client’s Psychological Inertia, from endless list of Resources that could be used to tons of information the consultant should take into account.

     Probably, only few TRIZ consultants did not experience these troubles deeply rooted in tradition of Consulting approach. Most of consultants continuously suffer from these problems, and cannot resolve them. The contradiction TRIZ consultants face is as follows: Only TRIZ expert can find the best solution to the tough problem, but TRIZ expert cannot solve these problems, because she/he cannot be the an expert in client’s specific situation.

     TRIZ says that the best way to resolve the contradiction is to circumvent it: achieve the goal without bumping into the inherent problem. Hence, authors suggest the alternative approach: Facilitation. “Client’s experts, on their own, under guidance of TRIZ expert, solve their own problems and successfully implement the solutions” is the formula of this approach.

     TRIZ also teaches us that “ideal approach,” the one without problems, does not exist. We should formulate and address such problems ahead of time.

2. Facilitation vs. Consulting

2.1. Facilitation: What Is It?

     We introduce the new notion to TRIZ consulting community. Hence, we should explain this notion before discussing its features and merits.

     Internet search provided us with following information on facilitation.

     Facilitation is a professional way to organize the project teamwork aimed at clarification and accomplishment of goals set to the group. The facilitation process improves efficiency of group work, involvement and motivation of participants, and better elicits group members’ potential.

     Facilitator is the one who controls the process of discussion, involves the participants, and structures the group work. [[1]]

     Facilitation is any activity that makes tasks for others easy, or tasks that are assisted. For example, facilitation is used in business and organizational settings to ensure the designing and running of successful meetings and workshops.

     A person who takes on such a role is called a facilitator. Kaner defines facilitator as follows: “A facilitator is an individual who enables groups and organizations to work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy. She or he is a ‘content-neutral’ party who by not taking sides or expressing or advocating a point of view during the meeting, can advocate for fair, open, and inclusive procedures to accomplish the group’s work. A facilitator can also be learning or a dialogue guide to assist a group in thinking deeply about its assumptions, beliefs, and values and about its systemic processes and context.” [[2]]

     Specifically, a facilitator is used in a variety of group settings, including business and other organizations to describe someone whose role it is to work with group processes to ensure meetings run well and achieve a high degree of consensus. [[3]]

     Facilitation in business, organizational development (OD), and in consensus decision-making refers to the process of designing and running a successful meeting.

     Facilitation concerns itself with all the tasks needed to run a productive and impartial meeting. Facilitation serves the needs of any group who are meeting with a common purpose, whether it be making a decision, solving a problem, or simply exchanging ideas and information. It does not lead the group, nor does it try to distract or to entertain. [[4]]

     A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan how to achieve these objectives; in doing so, the facilitator remains “neutral” meaning he/she does not take a particular position in the discussion. Some facilitator tools will try to assist the group in achieving a consensus on any disagreements that pre-exist or emerge in the meeting so that it has a strong basis for future action.

     There are a variety of definitions for facilitator:

     “An individual who enables groups and organizations to work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy. He or she is a ‘content neutral’ party who by not taking sides or expressing or advocating a point of view during the meeting, can advocate for fair, open, and inclusive procedures to accomplish the group’s work” - Doyle.

     “One who contributes structure and process to interactions so groups are able to function effectively and make high-quality decisions. A helper and enabler whose goal is to support others as they pursue their objectives.” - Bens.

     “The facilitator’s job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility. By supporting everyone to do their best thinking, a facilitator enables group members to search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable agreements” – Kaner. [[5]]

2.2. Why Facilitation?

     We need to discuss the following issue: why do we, TRIZ experts, should refuse to consult and prefer to facilitate?

It is important to understand that facilitation is a kind of consulting. However, in everyday language, these words mean different approaches to the problem solving. Many believe consultant solves the problem on her/his own, and then brings solution to the client, while facilitator enables the client’s experts solving the problem they could not solve before.

     TRIZ experts know how to solve the complex problems. Client’s experts, on the other hand, know nothing about TRIZ. It seems that TRIZ experts can do the job much better, right? The client’s managers think in the same way, “If my experts could not solve this problem, let TRIZ consultants solve it. They are paid for this job.”

     If it happens that consultant is also an expert in the area where problem occurred, it is just perfect! He does not need an additional time to learn the topic.

     People assume that TRIZ experts enjoy solving the complex problems. Then, why do they refuse such a joy?

In addition, people think that client’s experts are so sick and tired of unsolved problem that they would happily accept any solution suggested by consultant. Then, they immediately start implementing this solution, singing Halleluiah to such clever and smart consultants: we are experts, but could not solve this problem, but consultants are smarter, they found the solution!

     Moreover, many believe that client’s experts are so busy with other projects that they do not have time to solve their own problem. So, if a consultant solves it, they would be relieved from an awful headache. All respect to so inventive consultant!

     But it came out that reality is much more complicated than these thoughts and believes. [[6]]

2.2.1. Drawbacks of Consulting, Advantages of Facilitation

     First, one good idea or even one well-developed concept is not enough for implementation. Moreover, even real prototype or turnkey manufacturing equipment is not enough, as well. Implementation involves a lot of hard work. Implementation team should match a turnkey process, prototype, well-developed product concept or idea to the company conditions and capabilities. Such matching, although invisible to bystander, requires many efforts that are far from routine ones.

     Who should do this job? Of course, client’s experts should. No one else could do it. This job is an awful headache to everybody involved. Hence, client’s experts would accept not “any” suggested solution, regardless of degree of its development. They would accept only those ones that match their conditions and capabilities. Anything else they would either reject or bury quietly.

     Why client’s experts are so negative to consultant’s solutions? Are they jealous to or angry at smarter consultant? Are they stupid or too conservative? Not at all. The reason is different. Usually, a problem has multiple solutions, but only one solution is the best under the specific conditions. This best solution fits to conditions and capabilities of client. Any other solution is not good for this client, period. Hence, if consultant has not brought the best solution, experts would not accept anything else.

     Second, if client’s experts are too busy to solve the problem, where would they find time and energy to implement the consultant’s solution? Should they work overtime? Or would they? We doubt.

     Third, the client’s experts are the real people rather than emotionless robots or angels ready to endure all sorts of difficulties and humiliation for the sake of holy idea. People need their bosses to appreciate, recognize and reward their work; they need motivation. Could they get appreciation, recognition, reward or motivation for implementing the consultant’s idea? No way! Their “smart” boss is already skeptical, “I know you are not the experts, you could not solve this problem, but this consultant could!” As a result, even if they successfully implement consultant’s solution, all credit would belong to consultant, while experts’ share would be a dirty job and tons of troubles. Would this understanding motivate them? Think twice!

     Fourth, more often than not, the consultant is not an expert in the area where the problem-at-hand occurred. In order to find out what the problem is about and which solutions are possible, the consultant has to acquire a sufficient knowledge in the area, and this process takes time. It would be nice if client’s experts could teach the consultant, but they are busy with other projects. Moreover, why should they teach the person who is going to teach them how to do their own job properly? The consultant must spend time for learning, and this time should be added to the time needed to solve the problem. If the client needs the solution fast, why should he wait while consultant is learning? Why should he pay consultant for this learning?

     If it comes out that consultant understands the issue, it is rather worse than better. Understanding brings the pressure of the same limitations, prohibitions and taboos that prevented client’s experts resolving the problem. Hence, pre-existing knowledge in the area is a hindrance rather than help.

     Fifth, the most important: none even super-genius consultant can possess a deep knowledge of all conditions and capabilities of client, all pitfalls and reefs of interrelationships, real distribution of power and respect, real interests and bans acting within the client’s company. Try to convince me that these factors don’t contribute to success or failure of implementation of idea! Not for nothing Christensen wrote that availability of resources needed for implementation of innovation is not enough; it is much more important that people who manage those resources would allocate them to this implementation rather than using them for other, more important (in their eyes) purposes.

     No consultant could find out who is harmed by his solution. Why? Consultant is thinking only about client’s good! However, a solution beneficial to one person is harmful to another, that’s the way it works. When consultant suggests the solutions, he does not consider the balance of harms and benefits to all stakeholders. Implementation of solution that suggests getting rid of unneeded operations and parts is profitable to the client, but it means lost jobs or reduced wages to people performing these operations and making these parts. Would they be happy or motivated to implement such solution? Hardly.

     There is one more problem. It looks like TRIZ consultant is competing with client’s experts, i.e. with people who should evaluate her/his solutions. Why “competing”? The client’s experts were hired for a single purpose: to protect the client from problems. Their job is to avoid, prevent or solve timely any problem that occurs. And what is the TRIZ consultant’s job? Exactly the same! Hence, the client’s experts usually take TRIZ consultants as competitors rather than friends, rescuers and helpers.

     Now, let us talk about consultant’s joy of finding the remarkable solutions to the problems that client’s experts could not solve. This joy is relative. My colleagues ran the experiments on themselves. The results showed that stress caused by attempts to resolve the contradictions severely harms solver’s health. Definitely, the euphoria of finding the solution to unsolvable contradiction improves the mood; however, repetition of such euphoria causes adrenaline addiction and harms solver’s health, too. The need to meet too high client’s expectations causes stress, and harms healt, as well. So, one should not overestimate the “joy” side of consultant’s work…

     Consultants experience stress, not a joy, every time when client’s experts reject the suggested solutions. Add to this the depression caused by attempt to balance found solutions vs. implemented ones… Hence, euphoria of found solution is a scanty compensation for all accompanying stresses and depressions.

     As one could see, consulting is associated with multiple problems. These problems are inherent to the consulting process. Hence, they are unsolvable. What could be done? Where is the solution?

     In TRIZ, the tool capable of resolving the unsolvable problems is Double Inversion: make the opposite (first inversion), but produce the same result as before rather than the opposite one (second inversion). In our case, consultant brings the solution to the problem that experts could not solve, and this causes many problems to everybody involved. Now, we need to make something in the opposite way, but produce the same result. “The same result” means finding the solution to unsolvable problem. But what should we “do in the opposite way”? Consulting. The consultant should not bring the solution. Who, then, should find the solution? Experts themselves.

     Interesting turn, isn’t it? The client’s experts could not solve this problem before. Now, the same experts are solving it. How could it happen? It turns out that it really happens. It happens even better than one could expect!

The experts could not solve the problem not due to lack of some knowledge. Rather, they did not know which knowledge in which way to use in this specific case. TRIZ hints are exactly of this nature: what to think about if you have not thought about that before; what new point of view to apply to this problem; or how to modify your own understanding of situation.

     If we accept this understanding of TRIZ capabilities, the task of TRIZ expert could be determined as follows: hint the client’s experts what to think about and in which way, and provide these hints in the specific order, just in time when needed. This job is a facilitation, not a consulting. TRIZ suggestions induce the unusual comprehension of problem situation. This comprehension enables experts generating the ideas and solutions. Experts produce new ideas and solutions from knowledge that already exists in their minds.

     Are the client’s experts capable of finding the solutions that are better than ones a TRIZ consultant could suggest? Yes, they can. How these solutions are better? First, these solutions have better match with client’s reality, resources, conditions and capabilities. Why? The client’s experts are working in this reality, under these conditions. The client’s capabilities are their own capabilities. Hence, they would select, out of many solutions, the one that matches these conditions and capabilities: they know that nobody but them should implement it.

     Second, where the client’s experts would find time to solve the problem-at-hand? Remember? They are so busy with other projects! However, they must find time to explain the situation to TRIZ consultant, teach consultant the basics of their profession, listen to and reject the solutions suggested by consultant, as well as explain why they rejected these solutions! All these works take time. On the other hand, when client’s experts solve the problem on their own, there is no reason wasting time for these works. We need only to shorten the problem-solving process! Then, the time balance “consulting vs. facilitation” would be respected. However, in case of facilitation this time would be used for better purpose and with better result. This is very important!

     Third, people prefer implementing their own rather than somebody else’s solutions. People are more motivated to remove obstacles to implementation. This removal would be easier because people understand their own solution much better. So, there are better chances for successful implementation, which is the actual goal of project.

     Fourth, there is no need to teach the client’s experts how to use TRIZ tools. Facilitator uses the fact that experts are knowledgeable in their own profession. Of course, facilitator should remove the bans and taboos preventing experts thinking in the proper direction. This is a good job for TRIZ! Moreover, taboos and bans should be removed for a short time only, later they could return.

     Fifth, the client’s experts usually possess well-developed instinct of self-preservation. It means that they would select for implementation the solution that provides for best benefit-to-harm balance; they would select the resources that could be easily, without “office war,” allocated to implementation. At least, if they fail to do so, they are well motivated to get out of this corner…

     Is TRIZ facilitator a competitor to the client’s experts? Not at all. TRIZ facilitator is doing the job nobody else can do: he introduces to the problem-solving process appropriate TRIZ approaches, analysis and tools. He does not try doing the experts’ job: idea generation, solution development and evaluation. The worst-case scenario, some experts would wonder, “What this facilitator was doing? We were doing all this work!” It should not be a surprise to facilitator, these experts are formally right!

     Facilitation affects the TRIZ expert’s health less than consulting and direct problem-solving do. Our personal experience shows that…

2.2.2. Drawbacks of Facilitation, Advantages of Consulting

     Doesn’t it look somehow suspicious? It never happens that one activity incurs only harm, while its alternative involves only benefits. It cannot be so!

     Yes, it is true: nothing created by humans is perfect; there should be drawbacks, too! Hence, facilitation has drawbacks. In fact, these drawbacks are fundamental.

     We already mentioned one. While solving the problem, the client’s experts agree that TRIZ facilitator and TRIZ approach played the important role in producing the solution. Later, they would predictably change their minds: we made it on our own; TRIZ has nothing to do with this solution. We were working hard, and found the solution, while facilitator was doing nothing.

     Another drawback accompanies this one. If a facilitator has a boss, this boss would like to see his subordinate working hard rather than doing nothing. From boss’s point of view, it is very bad if facilitator is sitting and doing nothing during the meeting.

     Client feels bad about that, too. He invited the expensive expert, pays him on the hourly basis. However, this expert, instead of working hard, is sitting and doing nothing! Should client distract these hours from his contract?

     There is one more drawback. Facilitator should be in the same place with facilitated group of client’s experts. He can provide TRIZ recommendations remotely: via email, Skype, phone. However, he cannot maintain order, monitor and sometimes push forward the teamwork. For this purpose, he should be in the room. Hence, if clients are scattered over the huge territory, or sometimes over the entire world, a facilitator willy-nilly should travel a lot, and not for sightseeing or fun.

2.3. Rules of Facilitation

     While working as a sole consultant, TRIZ expert should follow only some basic rules of professional conduct and safety. The rules such as “client is always right,” “consultant must deliver on promise” and “consultant should not disclose the client’s problems and solutions” belong to the former category. Rules such as “consultant should not overload her/his brain too much” and “consultant should not take responsibility for client’s decisions” belong to the latter one.

     TRIZ Facilitator, however, should impose on her/himself additional rules determining the proper relationships with team of client’s experts. Facilitator should respect the client’s experts she/he is working with. Moreover, Facilitator is responsible for safety of experts’ intellectual work.

     Here, we consider several rules specific to Facilitation. These rules determine how to:

  • Plan and schedule the facilitated work realistically

  • Manage time during the facilitated sessions

  • Keep energy and efficiency of project team high

2.3.1. Realistic planning and scheduling of facilitated work

     Realistic planning is a key success factor of achieving all planed targets. If planned time was estimated wrong (insufficient time), any ad hoc changes could bring a nervous atmosphere and reduce quality of results. Facilitator should foresee such risk, and include in the plan some buffers or energizers. They could be skipped later if team is out of time, at no loss to project.

     In the opposite case, extra available time could be utilized for reviewing the results, preparing the summary or getting the feedback from participants.

2.3.2. Time management during the facilitated sessions

     According to Dave Meier [[7]], an excellent authority on time management for workshops, the best balance between participant and facilitator-led activities is 70/30. That means 70% activities and 30% breaks.

     Breaks come in variety of flavors:

           Break                      Duration, min         Could be used for…

Refreshment breaks                 15                Eating and drinking something, socializing

Lunch breaks                          30-90             Refueling the energy, networking

Energy breaks                          5-10             Refreshing the team when energy is flagging in the room, 
                                                                       either post-lunch or through working on “heavy’’ subject

Comfort breaks                        5-10             Visiting the loo, or as a light energy break

Review breaks                          5-30             Raising the energy and reinforcing the learning


     The first two are fairly standard in most day-length workshops; the last three are less commonly seen.

2.3.3. Keep energy and efficiency of project team high

     Changing the activities during facilitation work is a must. A quick word about energy: it’s worth keeping one eye on the temperature of the room to assess the level energy. Hanging for too long on one topic or running an activity that’s long and passive can drop the energy in the room, thus reducing the participants’ willingness to contribute, and even sending some people to sleep! 

     Here’s a rough guide to the scale of flow to the high energy.


                                    Brain gym

                                    Team physical games

                                    Team building / role play tasks

                                    Competitive / team quizzes

                                    Treasure hunts

                                    Pairs /3s exercises

                                    Walkabouts / information tours

                                    Discussion groups / interviews

                                    Writing / drawings (teams/pairs)

                                    Facilitator led, explanation / presentation

                                    Writing, drawing (individual)




*          *          *

     All other things being equal, the facilitators who follow these rules could achieve better results than those who don’t.


3. GB TRIZ vs. Classical TRIZ

     In boundaries of this article, GB TRIZ approach represents the basis for efficient facilitation technology, while classical TRIZ represents the basis for efficient consulting work. Classical TRIZ, as well as majority of post-classical versions of TRIZ, had been designed to support the work of “solver,” i.e. consultant capable of resolving the client’s problem. GB TRIZ, to the opposite, supports “facilitator” who enables the team of client’s experts resolving their own problem. Let’s consider how the specific methodological features of GB TRIZ provide for such differentiation.

3.1. Comparison
3.1.1. How the Classical TRIZ Works

     All TRIZ projects could be reduced to the key job, development of new concepts (solutions): solutions to unsolvable problem, unknown hypotheses explaining the reasons of defect occurrence, prediction of unforeseen but probable catastrophes, or forecast of unknown yet emerging trends and breakthrough innovations. These projects differ in the ways the situation-at-hand is analyzed, as well as in the ways the concepts are used. However, the key job, concept / solution development, remains the same. Hence, every new TRIZ approach should be compared to others, in the first place, by procedure and fundamentals of solution development.

     Classical TRIZ [[8]] approach had been developed for individual work of skilled, experienced TRIZ expert. Hence, the main fundamentals of solution development were as follows:

  • Analysis should provide for accurate targeting at potential solutions. For this purpose, TRIZ analysis uses multi-model approach: sequential use of several models that step-by-step reduce the area of search.

  • Ideas generated with TRIZ tools (hints) are well-developed solutions. For this reason, TRIZ tools are complicated in use, because each of them suggests multiple simultaneous changes in the specified area of problem situation.

  • Hence, the user of TRIZ approach should be skilled and experienced in use of both TRIZ analytical and idea-generation tools.

     Most of contemporary TRIZ approaches in one or another way follow the same fundamentals and improve on them.

This approach is quite efficient in case of individual problem-solving work. However, facilitation with Classical TRIZ is difficult.

3.1.2. How GB TRIZ Works

     The core of GB TRIZ approach is the technique of Guided Brainstorming, teamwork of client’s experts facilitated by GB TRIZ specialist. [[9]] GB TRIZ approach (TRIZ-based Guided Brainstorming) is rooted in the different fundamentals:

  • Every idea is a simple change of one resource.

  • System of GB TRIZ hints (Principles) triggers development of practically comprehensive set of such changes.

  • Combinations of these changes (ideas) produce developed solutions.

  • Analysis should reveal the area of potential solutions, without high accuracy. Hence, one model is usually sufficient. [[10]]

  • Hence, the user of GB TRIZ approach should understand the situation-at-hand, its resources, and GB TRIZ recommendations (hints), and be able to select and modify resources.

     This approach is less efficient than Classical TRIZ for individual intellectual work. However, it is highly efficient for facilitated teamwork of client’s experts who are knowledgeable in the situation-at-hand and have neither skills nor experience in use of complicated TRIZ tools.

3.1.3. Comparison of Two Approaches

     If one uses a military analogy, the Classical TRIZ approach is similar to the job of sniper, while GB TRIZ approach one could compare to the job of machine gunner. As military people know, both ways of shooting have benefits and drawbacks, thus they should be used under different conditions. Sniper can “decapitate” the enemy troops by killing the officer leading the attack, while machine gunner can stop this attack by laying enemy soldiers on the ground and keeping them in such position. Both sniper and machine gunner are necessary, but for different tasks.

     The key difference is simple. Practically any soldier could become a machine gunner after brief explanation “where the trigger is, how to load ammo and how to aim.” On the other hand, only top-notch professional, after tough training and long development of skills, could become the sniper. Only a top-notch professional who continuously exercises and hones special skills can use Classical TRIZ efficiently. On the other hand, client’s experts who use GB TRIZ for solving only one problem should not become TRIZ experts.

     Some people do not like the military analogies. Here is a mathematical analogy: deterministic computation algorithms vs. Monte-Carlo method that uses repeated random sampling. When deterministic algorithms fail, Monte-Carlo method delivers efficient and accurate results quickly.

     Same with TRIZ: under some conditions, “targeted,” deterministic approach of Classical TRIZ might be much less efficient than seemingly random “area shooting” with GB TRIZ.

     Another comparison of these two approaches stems from analogy in computation. There are two types of computers: computers of sequential calculations and computers of parallel calculations. They differ in both hardware and software.

Computer of sequential calculation process uses the universal CPU that produces all possible computation actions; the computer follows the clear algorithm where needed actions are performed in specific order. Computer of parallel calculation, on the other hand, uses multiple CPUs. Each CPU performs only one specific action. These CPUs work in parallel; only combination of their specific results produces the needed overall result. The algorithm is also different: it separates the “formulas” for calculation into the elementary actions so that combination of results of these individual calculations would produce the expected overall result.

     As a result, neither hardware nor software of these computers are compatible, although overall result of their work is the same. Obviously, each type of computing has its own advantages and disadvantages. Under some conditions, one works better than another; under other conditions, vice versa.

3.2. Facilitation of GB TRIZ Problem Solving

     Facilitation of GB TRIZ Problem Solving work is based on labor division between GB Facilitator and team of client’s experts described below:

  • GB TRIZ facilitator who is skilled and experienced in TRIZ method performs analytical work. Purpose of analytical work is generating the appropriate opportunities (tasks) for facilitated Guided Brainstorming.

  • Ideas are generated and solutions are developed by team of client’s experts who are knowledgeable in the situation-at-hand that should be improved, and have no experience in use of TRIZ. Both idea generation and solution development are performed in course of facilitated Guided Brainstorming.

  • Idea generation is supported by system of GB TRIZ Principles [[11]]. This system is practically comprehensive, and thus facilitates generation of comprehensive set of possible simple changes in the situation-at-hand aimed at accomplishment of task (opportunity). Recommendations of these Principles are simple in use, because one recommendation hints one simple modification of one aspect of one resource.

  • Solutions are developed in a process of combining the ideas. The massive amount of generated changes provides for development of practically comprehensive set of possible relevant solutions.

  • Further selection of solutions is based on the system of criteria imposed on the TRIZ project. Client’s experts conduct evaluation; they select what they are going to implement.

     Accordingly, GB Facilitator provides team of client’s experts with appropriate GB templates and hints, for instance, in form of software (such as GB Light™). GB Facilitator’s work, both analysis and process organization, could be supported by other instruments, for example, by GB Pro™ software.

4. Conclusions

  1. Consulting and Facilitation are two technologies used for TRIZ-based problem-solving

  2. These technologies have their own preferable TRIZ-based approaches, advantages and disadvantages

  3. TRIZ expert should be capable of using both technologies professionally, because they are advantageous under different conditions


[1]. Source:

[2]. Kaner, S. with Lind, L., Toldi, C., Fisk, S., and Berger, D. Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, (2007). Jossey-Bass, ISBN 978-0-7879-8266-9

[3]. Source: Wikipedia, article Facilitation,

[4]. Source: Wikipedia, article Facilitation (business),

[5]. Source: Wikipedia, article Facilitator,

[6]. Kaplan, L., Malkin, S. The Guide to GB TRIZ, Vol. 1: Basics of GB TRIZ, Issue 1: GB TRIZ Facilitation, OutCompete, 2014. ( )

[7]. Meier, D. The Accelerated Learning Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill (2000)

[8]. Gadd, K. TRIZ for Engineers: Enabling Inventive Problem Solving, Wiley, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0470741887, ISBN-10: 0470741880

[9]. Kaplan, L. The Guide to GB TRIZ, Vol. 2: GB TRIZ Processes & Projects, Issue 1: Problem-Solving, OutCompete, 2015. ( )

[10]. Kaplan, L. The Guide to GB TRIZ, Vol 3: GB TRIZ Tools, Issue 5.1: GB TRIZ Analysis, OutCompete, 2015. ( )

[11]. Kaplan, L., and Malkin, S. The Guide to GB TRIZ, Vol. 3: GB TRIZ Tools, Issue 1: System of Inventive Principles, OutCompete, 2014. ( )

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