“Can something be done in advance to improve the outcome?”

Prior Action: Taking steps beforehand to improve the outcome of an action or event.

Getting to work on time

If the problem is you struggle to get to work on time, you could set the coffee maker up the night before, or lay your clothes out in advance.

Make sure there is room

Most computer operating systems will check before writing a file to be sure there is room available on the hard drive.

Sterilized instruments

Prepare sterilized instruments for medical procedures and seal them before use.


Practice emergency procedures so they are well understood in an unexpected urgent situation. For example fire fighters can create controlled burns to practice and test procedures’ effectiveness.


Pre-pasted wallpaper. Pre-moistened napkins. Pre-cooked bacon. Pre-packaged salad. Pre-fabricated houses.

More examples

As I stumble across real world examples of this Inventive Principle in action I add them here.

Your turn

What problems do you face that this inventive principle could help solve? Have you used this principle before?