SCAMPER. A lateral thinking technique that challenges the status quo and helps explore new possibilities.
The SCAMPER method helps you generate ideas for new products and services by encouraging you to ask seven different types of questions, which will help you understand how you can innovate and improve existing products, services, problems, and ideas.
SCAMPER is the acronym of:
The 7 foundamental points.
Put to another use
How to use the SCAMPER?
First, take an existing product or service. It could be an existing product, service, or idea that you want to improve, or it could be a great starting point for future development. Then, simply go down the list and ask questions regarding each of the seven elements. Apply the questions to values, benefits, services, touchpoints, product attributes, pricing, markets and essentially any other related aspect you might be able to think of that has relevance to your ideation needs.
- Do any of the answers stand out as viable solutions?
- Could you use any of them to create a new product, or develop an existing one?
A step-by-step guide for the SCAMPER method.
The first question to think about here is this:
-what can I substitute or change in my product, problem or process?
You should think about substituting part(s) of your product or process or service for something else.
* What can I substitute so as to make an improvement?
* How can I substitute the place, time, materials or people?
* Can I substitute one part for another or change any parts?
* CanI replace someone involved?
* Can I change the rules?
* should I change the name?
* Can I change its shape, color, roughness, sound, or smell?
* Can I use this idea for other projects or services?
* Can I change my feelings or attitude towards it?
* Can I use other ingredients or materials?
* Can I use other processes or procedures?
Next question to think about here is:
- how can I combine two or more parts of my product, problem, or process so as to achieve a different product, problem, service or process to enhance synergy?
Creative thinking involves combining previously unrelated ideas, products, or services to create something new and innovative.
* What ideas, materials, features, processes, people, products, or components can I combine?
* Can I combine or merge this or that with other objects?
* What can I combine so as to maximize the number of uses?
* What can I combine in order to lower the costs of production?
* Which materials could I combine?
* Where can I build synergy?
* Which are the best elements I can bring together so as to achieve a particular result?
Another question you need to think about is:
-what can I adapt in my product, problem, or process?
Think about which parts of the product or process or service you could adapt so as to solve your problem.
* Which part of the product or process could I change?
* Could I change the characteristics of a component?
* Can I seek inspiration in other products or processes, but in a different context?
* Does the history offer any solutions?
* Which ideas could I adapt, copy, or borrow from other people’s products?
* What processes should I adopt?
* Can I adapt the context or target group?
* What can I adapt in this or that way in order to make this result?
Overall, the question you need to focus on is this:
- what can I modify or put more or less emphasis on in my product, problem, or process?
- can I change the item in some way?
- can I change meaning, color, motion, sound, smell, form, or shape?
It’s time to magnify or exaggerate your idea, product, problem, or process—or to minify it. These questions will give you new insights into which components are the most important ones. Think about changing part or all of the current situation or product. Alternatively, distort the product in an unusual way.
* What can I magnify or make larger?
* What can I tone down or delete?
* Could I exaggerate or overstate dimension, colors, size…?
* Could I grow the target group?
* What can be made higher, bigger, or stronger?
* Can I increase its speed or frequency?
* Can I add extra features?
* How can I add extra value?
* What can you remove or make smaller, condensed, lower, shorter or lighter—or streamline, split up, or understate?
* What can I change in this way or that way so as to achieve such and such a result?
PUT TO OTHER USE
Here the question to consider is this:
- how can I put the thing to other uses? - what are new ways to use the product or service?
- can I reach out to other users if I modify the product?
- is there another market for the product?
It’s time to understand how you may be able to put your current product or idea or service or process to other uses and purposes.
* What else can it be used for?
* How would a child use it?—an older person?
* How would people with different disabilities use it?
* Which other target group could benefit from this product?
* What other kind of user would need or want my product?
* Who or what else may be able to use it?
* Can it be used by people other than those it was originally intended for?
* Are there new ways to use it in its current shape or form?
* Would there be other possible uses if I were to modify the product?
* How can I reuse something in a certain way by doing what to it?
Next question to consider here is:
- what can I eliminate or simplify in my product, design, or service?
Think of what might happen if you were to eliminate, simplify, reduce, or minimize parts of your idea. If you continue to trim your idea, service, product, or process — you can gradually narrow your challenge down to that part or function that is most important.
* What can I remove without altering its function?
* Can I reduce time or components?
* What would happen if I removed a component or part of it?
* Can I reduce effort?
*Can I cut costs?
* How can I simplify it?
* What’s non-essential or unnecessary?
* Can I eliminate the rules?
* Can I make it smaller?
* Can I split my product into different parts?
* I can eliminate what by doing what?
Here you have to ask yourself this question:
-how can I change, reorder, or reverse the product or problem?
- what would I do if I had to do this process in reverse?
* What can I rearrange in some way – can I interchange components, the pattern, or the layout?
* Can I change the pace or schedule?
* What would I do if part of your problem, product, or process worked in reverse?
* Can I rearrange what in what way such that this happens?
Often asking these questions, according to the logic reported above, can help us open our eyes and look at what surrounds us with different eyes, with greater focus and attention to details that perhaps we did not consider before or to which we had given little importance. Better yet, in this case, we can speak of real innovation. Because innovating also means, and perhaps even more, taking something that already exists and giving it a new look, be it physical, organizational, or structural. Every innovator and innovation should start, or consider starting, from the SCAMPER method.