There is a popular notion - and a fundamentally false one - that we can't estimate, forecast, or plan something we haven't done before.
Research supports the hypothesis that there are universal principles of creativity that are the basis for creative innovations that advance technology. With these principles identified and codified, they can be taught to people to make the process of creativity more predictable.
Somebody someplace has already solved this problem (or one very similar to it.)
Creativity is now finding that solution and adapting it to this particular problem.
This research has proceeded in several stages during the last sixty years. The three primary findings are:
- Problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences. The classification of the contradictions in each problem predicts the creative solutions to that problem.
- Patterns of technical evolution are repeated across industries and sciences.
- Creative innovations use scientific effects outside the field where they were developed.
Much of the practice of this approach consists of learning these repeating patterns of problems and their solutions, patterns of technical evolution and methods of using scientific effects, and then applying the general TRIZ patterns to the specific situation that confronts the developer. TRIZ Journal