Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT)
SIT starts with an existing product, service or production process and elements from the direct environment (Closed world principle). Starting from what already exists the new will be developed. The result is a faster process, with a shorter list of useful ideas, than other idea generation methods such as TRIZ (out of the box thinking). The “closed world principle” also provides a faster implementation.
SIT works with 5 different thinking styles. These lead to specific and practical ideas on a structured and disciplined way: these are:
1. SUBTRACTION. Generally speaking there is a tendency to add new aspects and functionalities during product development. However, successful innovations show that often more is achieved by removing aspects or functionalities. One should take a systematic look at what impact it would have on the various customer groups if one were to remove a functionality. Many customers use only a fraction of the total number of functionalities that are available, which means that they end up paying for functionalities that do not contribute to their appreciation. Discounters like Aldi and RyanAir are examples of this approach.
2. MULTIPLICATION. Rather than subtracting elements, one can double or triple certain components of the product. Instead of a two-wheel-drive one offers a four-wheel-drive, and one includes five audio speakers rather than four.
3. DIVISION. One divides a product into its components, offering modules that can be used to construct the eventual product. Rather than buying an integrated sound system, people can purchase a tuner, amplifier, speakers, DVD-player, etc. separately.
4. MERGING OF TASKS. Here two tasks are merged into one component. For example a coffee machine combined with a thermos.
5. CHANGE THE DEGREE OF DEPENDENCY OF A FEATURE. This is quite a mouthful. Take, for instance, a pair of sunglasses. The lenses in Polaroid sunglasses change color when they are exposed to varying amounts of light. The processors of laptop computers, to name another example, alter their processing speed when the batteries are running low.
(uit HBR 2003-05-03; Goldenberg, Horowitz, Levav and Mazurski)
Below you see a scheme that shows the relations between the various thinking styles (from the SIT Website)