The evolution of successful technological systems is not random, but is governed by certain laws or prevailing trends.
Contemporary TRIZ is both a theory of technology evolution and a methodology for the effective development of new technological systems. It has two major subsystems based on the laws (prevailing trends) of technological system evolution: a set of methods for developing conceptual system designs and a set of tools for the identification and development of next-generation technologies and products.
TRIZ methods are based upon prevailing trends of system evolution (predominantly, technological systems). These trends were identified by examining statistically significant information from different areas of intellectual activities (mainly, technological innovation).
The names of some concepts and tools developed and used in TRIZ coincide with those in other approaches for enhancing engineering productivity that were developed independently of, and sometimes even before TRIZ. One example is Value Engineering Analysis (VEA), developed by Lawrence Miles and Yuri Sobolev: some of its approaches and tools are fundamentally different from those named identically in TRIZ.