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A TRIZ approach to Enterprise Collaboration


TRIZ stands for Teroija Reshenija Izobretatelskih Zadach. No, it’s not the latest James Bond villain, but it is Russian.
When translated in English, TRIZ means the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving–a set of ideation and forecasting tools developed by Genrich Altshuller, a Soviet inventor and science-fiction writer, who worked in the middle of the 20th century.

While TRIZ is a vast set of principles, tools, and techniques, let’s focus on one of the key tools often used in the context of inventive problem solving: the 9 windows.

9 windows

Nine windows is a technique that helps users think in space and time and explores issues and their potential impacts by examining the past, present, and future of both high-level areas and their related subsections. In this technique we draw a 3×3 matrix and write the system or the current problem in the center as shown below


The next step involves exploring the system in each of the 3 levels:

  • Super-system (or Macro system): External environment and components that the problem or system interacts or may interact with
  • System: The problem or system that was created
  • Subsystem (or Micro system): A component or parts of the problem or system

The time period for the past and present can be defined by the user based on the context of the system/problem.

9 Windows – Example

A technique like 9 windows can be better understood with examples and the one below from triz journal explores mobile phone as a system and ideates to find the future system, sub-system and super-system.


9 Windows of Enterprise collaboration

Enterprise collaboration is poised to grow with a rich set of communication, conferencing, content, and contextual collaboration tools offered by competing vendors in the market. While enterprise collaboration can be considered a jigsaw puzzle, not all pieces of the puzzle lie with the tool.

Organisations like Kissflow who provide solutions around collaboration try to dig deep and understand this puzzle and see what lies with the tool and what lies with people.


While we respect this puzzle and accept the interesting challenges it offers we also strongly believe the future to be a digital workplace which is powered by processes, driven by people on a collaborative path leading to sensemaking in organisations. Running an enterprise collaboration platform is like running a marathon–it’s a function of time and effort and with the right set of tools you are destined to reach the finish line in style.