Tools & methodologies

To materialize the projects of our customers into tangible business, we rely on a set of tools


The 2A2CI methodology, a tool developed by xFIVE

2A2CI is the structuring methodological tool on which we base the realization of innovation projects of our customers into tangible business. This is a pragmatic approach, efficient and results-oriented.

More info here

KataIt takes place in five stages, starting from the "market" and ending up to "customer", during which the ideas meeting the frustrations, challenges and market opportunities are converted into functional demonstrators actually tested with pilot customers.

Developed on the base of the expertise of the founders of xFIVE in terms of innovation acceleration, the methodology has been first published during the 11th Etria conference in Dublin "2A2CI: a systematic approach to Implement TRIZ innovation in SME".

2A2CI integrates many very effective tools such as Value Analysis, Value Innovation, TRIZ, QFD (Quality Function Deployment), Agile, Design Thinking, Business Model Canvas.

A new publication going on both the integration of the Business Model Canvas and the use of creative tools for team animation team was awarded an "Excellent Paper Award" during the international conference on the inventive design GTC 2014 in Seoul in July 2014.

2A2CI can be used to develop products which are accepted by their target markets, as well as to realize new innovative services, or to improve a process, to define a means of production, to improve the functioning of an organization, to develop new business models.



STEPS, Computer-Aided Inventive Design software

STEPS overviewThe STEPS software was developed to support creative design activities based on TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving). This software is dedicated to engineers, researchers and educators to integrate the concepts of inventive design in order to develop existing and new technical systems and to assist the user in this process. STEPS is also used for educational purposes in inventive design.

This software was developed by a consortium of Alstom, ArcelorMittal, Airbus Group and INSA Strasbourg. The consortium gave the Time-To-Innovate company an exclusive right on the software. Software is marketed as STEPS, Systematic Problem Solving Tool for Efficient.

Since October 2013, xFIVE has integrated a new STEPS development consortium, that groups ArcelorMittal, MBDA, ExelOP, Time-To-Innovate and xFIVE. xFIVE is exclusive distribution partner of STEPS in Benelux, northern and western France and supports the development of the software as certified "IDM-TRIZ powered by STEPS" expert.

Steps ecran solutionsSTEPS structures the development process of inventive concepts, from the construction of a graph problems for identifying the key problem to be solved, till the documentation of inventive concepts.





IXXO, Strategic Intelligence enabling tool

IXXO develops innovative software solutions to improve business responsiveness facing the unstructured information. The vision of IXXO combines control of information processing technologies and expertise in knowledge management.

Founded in 2002, IXXO publishes IXXO Web Mining, a solution of websurvey and internet search of second generation, and continues its business of professional services in the field of enterprise search engines.

IXXO overview

Since early 2015, xFIVE has adopted the deep web exploration tool developed by IXXO to the benefit of its customers.  This tool is a major asset in the development of products and services that address the frustrations and challenges of the market. IXXO and xFIVE are partners in the development of the use of big data (more information here).



TRIZ, an approach for systematic creativity!

Among several other tools integrated into 2A2CI, we rely on TRIZ, one of whose characteristics is to get "uncompromising" inventive solutions built in the logic of "AND" rather than "OR" and combining all properties that apparently oppose each other.

TRIZ (Teorija Rezhenija Isobretatel'skich Zadac, Russian acronym for "Theory of Inventive Solving Problems") was developed from 1946 by Genrich Altshuller, Soviet scientist working at the national patent office. Synthetically, we can say that TRIZ is a possible way to effectively solve particularly difficult and complex technical problems.

TRIZ is based on two assumptions:

  • A real problem can be described as a contradiction (if not, it isn't a problem).
  • The technical systems evolve, because of their designers, to a higher level of ideality ( decribed as ratio Σperformances / (Σcosts + Σnuisances)), following 9 laws of evolution and that to solve existing contradictions in these systems.

TRIZ philosophyTRIZ' philosophy of action is summed up in 4 steps:

  • Identify the most important specific problem to solve,
  • Then generalize the specific problem into a "generic problem model",
  • Apply to this "generic problem model" a set of solving principles belonging to TRIZ to determine "generic solution model",
  • Derive from these "generic solution models" the specific concepts of solution.

By applying TRIZ, we get a set of concepts of solution providing efficient and inventive response to the problems we face. And because the number of concepts developed through the TRIZ tools is relatively small, robust and relevant, we limit the high costs associated with classical iterative approaches that multiply trials and errors.

In a 2013 article, Forbes magazine shows that Samsung has become No. 1 worldwide in patent filing thanks TRIZ. The use of TRIZ delivers results: by simplifying thanks to TRIZ one component of its DVD players, the Korean Samsung has saved $ 4 per unit. With the same method, Kodak and Procter & Gamble respectively invented the iconic red-eye flash and Pampers diapers "that keep baby's bottom dry."

TRIZ principles are relatively simple to understand, but the practice of this approach requires a relatively large expertise. A TRIZ type of intervention doesn't require prerequisite on the part of entrepreneurs, but must be done with a trained and experienced facilitator.

Xavier Lepot and Axel Neveux, founders of Xfive, were trained in the TRIZ methodology by INSA Strasbourg during an Advanced Master in Inventive Design they followed in 2010-2011 (AMID6 - promoting Ettore Bugatti).  Stéphane Badts is following a training in TRIZ in 2015-2016. This expertise of xFIVE Team was strengthened by deploying TRIZ in many cases and missions.

xFIVE is certified "center of expertise IDM-TRIZ" by INSA Strasbourg.



xFIT, our tool for structuring prospective vision

Forecasting is a complex art. However because it is very interesting to predict the products and services that willrespond at best to the needs of tomorrow, we wanted to simplify the approach and systematize it on a solid theoretical basis.

Thus we are developing right now xFIT (for eXtended Future Insight Tool). This tool aims to provide a structured methodological framework to propose what could be the future versions of the systems which are considered.




DECLIC, a 1-day training that boost innovation!

Developed with our partner Cohesium, DECLIC is a simple, pragmatic tool that trains entrepreneurs to create value and difference. DECLIC is a practical and concrete training, that involves participants in the development of a simple action plan for providing them with differentiation paths.

DECLIC takes place in 2 phases:

  • 1 day of training, with in the morning a collective workshop on a case study, and in the afternoon, work on the concrete challenges of the participants.
  • 1 individual monitoring of each participant a few weeks after the training day.

The DECLIC workshop leads to a concrete and tangible product because the participant finishes the day with his individual roadmap to launch his differentiating actions. And he knows that there will be a follow-up a few weeks later. The participating entrepreneur has a "click" in his way of thinking, and he has a tool in his hands that he can spread within his company.


Problem 2 Solutions