Don’t stay stuck, SCAMPER. SCAMPER is a creative thinking technique that can spark curiosity and lead to new concepts and ideas.
Bob Eberle introduced it to help solve problems or ignite creativity in students but now it’s often used during brainstorming meetings.
Today SCAMPER is typically applied to a product, but it’s adaptable to any project or concept.
SCAMPER has 7 different approaches to try:
Substitute: Try substituting a part of the product or idea. What can you replace?
Combine: Where can you merge 2 ideas? Or steps? What can you mix together?
Adapt: What can we tweak to make what you already have better? Is there something to change for better results?
Modify: For a product, explore changes in the state of the market or size, what happens? What if you changed the size, color, design?
Put To Another Use: Who else could use this to solve a problem? Where else could this be helpful?
Eliminate: Is there anything that could be removed, that’s not needed? How can you streamline?
Reverse or Rearrange: Flip things around. Rearrange or reverse the way things are put together or the steps of the process.
SCAMPER opens up a treasure chest of questions and ways to shift our perspective that help spur creativity and uncover new concepts and ideas.
If you can’t think of a response to a prompt, use the concept of force-fitting to come up with any idea, no matter how strange or ridiculous, then ask how that could work. Try SCAMPER next time you brainstorm.