swiss army knife SCAMPER

SCAMPER is the swiss army knife of creative thinking

The PLAYBOOK

‘SCAMPER’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.

WHAT IS SCAMPER?

SCAMPER is a well-known technique, rooted in associative thinking. It helps us to forge those useful and idea provoking connections. The SCAMPER questions were originally devised in 1953 by Alex Osborn, the reputed inventor of brainstorming. Bob Eberle ordered them into the current acronym in 1971.

Thinking differently

HOW TO USE IT?

SCAMPER is a useful creativity tool that helps you generate ideas to improve existing products and services, or to create new ones.

 

The technique is a set of prompts for you to systematically explore facets of a problem or issue. Simply go through each of the 7 steps asking probing and exploratory questions.

 

You can download the worksheet below.

SCAMPER worksheet
SCAMPER worksheet

Substitute:

What physical elements or components could you substitute?

How could you substitute the whole?

Combine:

What other things could you combine with this problem or item?

What elements of the issue could be merged to improve it?

Adapt:

How could you change something to make it work differently?

What works elsewhere that you could change to solve your problem?

What analogy could you use?

Modify:

What could you magnify, emphasise or exaggerate for improvements?

What could you minimize, remove or delete?

Put to another use:

Where or how else could this be used for?

Who else might find it useful?

Eliminate:

What can you eliminate or simplify without negative effects?

What is not essential or too complicated?

Rearrange/ Reverse:

How could you rearrange elements, layouts or sequences?

What are the effects of reversing it or speeding/slowing it?

ENDS

DOWNLOAD WORKSHEETS

The worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.

PLAYBOOK pages

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