Adopting TRIZ Principle 11: Cushion in Advance for Proactive Problem-Solving

An innovative and creative approach to problem-solving is essential in the modern business world. TRIZ (Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch), or “The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving”, was developed by Russian genius Genrich Altshuller in 1946, as a way to reveal hidden problems and generate inventive solutions to them. The core principle of TRIZ is that all problems can be solved using 40 principles, which are divided into 11 groups. One of these groups is Cushion in Advance, also known as Principle 11.

Understanding Cushion in Advance

Cushion in Advance, or Principle 11, focuses on preparing for potential future problems rather than waiting until they occur. This can be done by preventing mistakes before they happen, anticipating necessary resources and tackling any potential obstacles early on. This preparation allows for a smoother transition between stages and reduces the risk of unexpected issues arising during a project. It also encourages teams to think proactively rather than reactively when making decisions.

Benefits of Cushion in Advance

Adopting the Cushion in Advance attitude has many benefits beyond just dealing with potential problems before they arise. This approach has tangible and intangible benefits, such as improved team morale, higher levels of employee engagement and productivity, better decision-making skills for managers and increased customer satisfaction due to faster response times. Additionally, investing time and energy into planning helps promote efficient use of resources and better budget management, which leads to cost savings over time.

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Examples of Implementing Cushion in Advance

One example of how the Cushion in Advance principle can be implemented is through project risk management planning. Assessing risks ahead of time and developing suitable strategies for dealing with them effectively should they arise reduces decision-making stress levels at crucial points during a project’s life cycle. Additionally, predictive analytics can create data-driven strategies based on experience or trends, leading to more accurate forecasting when predicting future needs or scenarios that may arise while developing projects or products.

Another example is through product development cycles, where teams work collaboratively from the initial concept stage until launch day. At each stage, breakthroughs may occur, leading to further refinement. Still, provision must always be made for course corrections along the way should any issues arise unexpectedly later down the line – this is where cushioning your ideas ahead by testing them out on small scales first and then making changes accordingly if necessary will prove most beneficial throughout a product’s lifecycle from conception to the market launch date.


At its core, Principle 11: Cushion in Advance is about preparing for future complications so that organisations are ready when it comes time to take action rather than firefight at each stage of their projects – essentially creating a proactive climate whereby teams have control over their destiny instead reacting passively whenever things don’t go according to plan due lack of foresight or ample contingency measures being put into place beforehand because nothing could have been anticipated during the early stages of development.

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