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A Guide to the SCAMPER
Technique
Olivier Serrat
2013
Define:Problem
A problem is perceived when an
individual, group, or organization
becomes aware of a significant difference
between what is desired and what
actually is.
Problem solving is the process by which a
situation, condition, or issue is analyzed,
a workable solution is determined, and
corrective action is taken to accomplish a
desired objective.
On Problem Solving
The common milestones of problem solving are to
• Define (or clarify) the problem.
• Analyze causes.
• Generate ideas (identify alternatives).
• Weigh up ideas (assess alternatives).
• Make a decision (select an alternative).
• Determine next steps to implement the solution.
• Evaluate whether the situation, condition, or issue was
resolved or not.
The SCAMPER Technique
Every problem invites a solution and, needless to say, there
are numerous problem-solving techniques. The SCAMPER
technique, for one, uses a set of directed, idea-spurring
questions to suggest some addition to, or modification of,
something that already exists. It has received much attention
as a learning tool that fosters awareness, drive, fluency,
flexibility, and originality. The stimulus comes from being
asked to answer queries that one would not normally pose.
The SCAMPER Technique is used to produce original ideas. The
creative process thrives on preparation, concentration,
incubation, illumination, and verification (production testing).
The SCAMPER Technique
The SCAMPER
technique is based
on the notion that
much of what is
new is a
modification of
something that
already exists. The
changes that
SCAMPER stands
for are:
S—Substitute
C—Combine
A—Adapt
M—Magnify or Modify
P—Put to Other Uses
E—Eliminate
R—Rearrange or Reverse
There is nothing new under the sun but
there are lots of old things we don't know.
—Ambrose Bierce
How To SCAMPER
• Think about substituting part of the product or process
for something else.
• What else instead? Who else instead? What other
materials, ingredients, processes, power, sounds,
approaches, or forces might I substitute? Which other
place?
Substitute
• Think about combining two or more parts of the product
or process to make something new or to enhance
synergy.
• What mix, assortment, alloy, or ensemble might I blend?
What ideas, purposes, units, or appeals might I combine?
Combine
How To SCAMPER
• Think about which parts of the product or process could
be adapted or how you might change the nature of the
product or process.
• Does the past offer a parallel? What else is like this?
What other idea does this suggest? What might I adapt
for use as a solution? What might I copy? Who might I
emulate?
Adapt
• Think about changing part or all of the product or
process, or distorting it in an unusual way.
• What other meaning, color, motion, sound, smell, form,
or shape might I adopt? What might I add?
Magnify or Modify
How To SCAMPER
• Think of how you might put the product or process to
another use or how you might reuse something from
somewhere else.
• What new ways are there to use this? Might this be used
in other places? Which other people might I reach? To
what other uses might this be put if it is modified?
Put to Other Uses
• Think of what might happen if you eliminated parts of
the product or process and consider what you might do
in that situation.
• What might I understate? What might I eliminate? What
might I streamline? What might I make smaller, lower,
shorter, or lighter?
Eliminate
How To SCAMPER
• Think of what you might do if parts of the product or
process worked in reverse or were sequenced
differently.
• What might be rearranged? What other pattern, layout,
or sequence might I adopt? Can components be
interchanged? Should I change pace or schedule? Can
positives and negatives be swapped? Could roles be
reversed?
Rearrange or Reverse
Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by
adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and
where appropriate profits.
—Edward de Bono
SCAMPER Caveat
There are personal blocks to creativity but these can often be
removed. In organizations, fruitful application of the
SCAMPER technique depends on an enabling environment.
Managers who foster creativity listen, are willing to absorb
risks, are comfortable with half-developed ideas, do not dwell
on past mistakes, expect colleagues to succeed and capitalize
on their strengths, enjoy their jobs, and make quick decisions.
They then help sell ideas to senior management—this
involves assessing the "sellability" of ideas and developing
persuasive arguments.
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing
constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before
it exists.
—Charles Dickens
Further Reading
• ADB. 2008. The Reframing Matrix. Manila.
www.adb.org/publications/reframing-matrix
• ——. 2009. The Five Whys Technique. Manila.
www.adb.org/publications/five-whys-technique
• ——. 2009. The SCAMPER Technique. Manila.
www.adb.org/publications/scamper-technique
• ——. 2009. Wearing Six Thinking Hats. Manila.
www.adb.org/publications/wearing-six-thinking-hats
Videos
• ADB. 2012. The Critical Incident Technique. Manila.
vimeo.com/67185516
• ——. 2012. The Five Whys Technique. Manila.
vimeo.com/67185517
• ——. 2012. The Reframing Matrix. Manila.
vimeo.com/67186254
Quick Response Codes
@ADB
@ADB Sustainable
Development Timeline
@Academia.edu
@LinkedIn
@ResearchGate
@Scholar
@SlideShare
@Twitter

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A Guide to the SCAMPER Technique

  • 1. The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank, or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this presentation and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this presentation do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology. A Guide to the SCAMPER Technique Olivier Serrat 2013
  • 2. Define:Problem A problem is perceived when an individual, group, or organization becomes aware of a significant difference between what is desired and what actually is. Problem solving is the process by which a situation, condition, or issue is analyzed, a workable solution is determined, and corrective action is taken to accomplish a desired objective.
  • 3. On Problem Solving The common milestones of problem solving are to • Define (or clarify) the problem. • Analyze causes. • Generate ideas (identify alternatives). • Weigh up ideas (assess alternatives). • Make a decision (select an alternative). • Determine next steps to implement the solution. • Evaluate whether the situation, condition, or issue was resolved or not.
  • 4. The SCAMPER Technique Every problem invites a solution and, needless to say, there are numerous problem-solving techniques. The SCAMPER technique, for one, uses a set of directed, idea-spurring questions to suggest some addition to, or modification of, something that already exists. It has received much attention as a learning tool that fosters awareness, drive, fluency, flexibility, and originality. The stimulus comes from being asked to answer queries that one would not normally pose. The SCAMPER Technique is used to produce original ideas. The creative process thrives on preparation, concentration, incubation, illumination, and verification (production testing).
  • 5. The SCAMPER Technique The SCAMPER technique is based on the notion that much of what is new is a modification of something that already exists. The changes that SCAMPER stands for are: S—Substitute C—Combine A—Adapt M—Magnify or Modify P—Put to Other Uses E—Eliminate R—Rearrange or Reverse There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know. —Ambrose Bierce
  • 6. How To SCAMPER • Think about substituting part of the product or process for something else. • What else instead? Who else instead? What other materials, ingredients, processes, power, sounds, approaches, or forces might I substitute? Which other place? Substitute • Think about combining two or more parts of the product or process to make something new or to enhance synergy. • What mix, assortment, alloy, or ensemble might I blend? What ideas, purposes, units, or appeals might I combine? Combine
  • 7. How To SCAMPER • Think about which parts of the product or process could be adapted or how you might change the nature of the product or process. • Does the past offer a parallel? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? What might I adapt for use as a solution? What might I copy? Who might I emulate? Adapt • Think about changing part or all of the product or process, or distorting it in an unusual way. • What other meaning, color, motion, sound, smell, form, or shape might I adopt? What might I add? Magnify or Modify
  • 8. How To SCAMPER • Think of how you might put the product or process to another use or how you might reuse something from somewhere else. • What new ways are there to use this? Might this be used in other places? Which other people might I reach? To what other uses might this be put if it is modified? Put to Other Uses • Think of what might happen if you eliminated parts of the product or process and consider what you might do in that situation. • What might I understate? What might I eliminate? What might I streamline? What might I make smaller, lower, shorter, or lighter? Eliminate
  • 9. How To SCAMPER • Think of what you might do if parts of the product or process worked in reverse or were sequenced differently. • What might be rearranged? What other pattern, layout, or sequence might I adopt? Can components be interchanged? Should I change pace or schedule? Can positives and negatives be swapped? Could roles be reversed? Rearrange or Reverse Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits. —Edward de Bono
  • 10. SCAMPER Caveat There are personal blocks to creativity but these can often be removed. In organizations, fruitful application of the SCAMPER technique depends on an enabling environment. Managers who foster creativity listen, are willing to absorb risks, are comfortable with half-developed ideas, do not dwell on past mistakes, expect colleagues to succeed and capitalize on their strengths, enjoy their jobs, and make quick decisions. They then help sell ideas to senior management—this involves assessing the "sellability" of ideas and developing persuasive arguments. The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. —Charles Dickens
  • 11. Further Reading • ADB. 2008. The Reframing Matrix. Manila. www.adb.org/publications/reframing-matrix • ——. 2009. The Five Whys Technique. Manila. www.adb.org/publications/five-whys-technique • ——. 2009. The SCAMPER Technique. Manila. www.adb.org/publications/scamper-technique • ——. 2009. Wearing Six Thinking Hats. Manila. www.adb.org/publications/wearing-six-thinking-hats
  • 12. Videos • ADB. 2012. The Critical Incident Technique. Manila. vimeo.com/67185516 • ——. 2012. The Five Whys Technique. Manila. vimeo.com/67185517 • ——. 2012. The Reframing Matrix. Manila. vimeo.com/67186254
  • 13. Quick Response Codes @ADB @ADB Sustainable Development Timeline @Academia.edu @LinkedIn @ResearchGate @Scholar @SlideShare @Twitter