SCAMPER is a tool used to generate ideas. This approach was first suggested by Alex Osborn, a pioneer in the field of creativity. Later, Bob Eberle created a mnemonic of the approach:
M odify of magnify
P ut to other uses
E liminate or reduce
R everse or rearrange
How SCAMPER Works
Here’s how it works. Suppose you are a designer of fine leather driving gloves. You are approached by an investor to develop gloves for the professional golfer. How can you take your basic driving glove and convert it to a professional golfer’s glove? SCAMPER is one approach to help you generate ideas. First isolate the topic you want to explore, and then apply each step to the topic and see what ideas are developed:
• What can be substituted in the design or materials?
• What can be combined in the design or materials?
• What can be adapted from another design?
• What can be modified from the current design or competitors’ design?
• What can be magnified from the current design or competitors’ design?
• What other uses can be put in place for the new design?
• What can be eliminated from the basic design or competitors’ design?
• What is the reverse of the basic design?
• Will rearranging the basic design create a professional golfer’s glove?
Creativity is necessary to stay alive in today’s business world. Organizations will continue to be confronted by strategic challenges unmatched in business history. Creative problem solving approaches, like SCAMPER, will help organizations successfully face these challenges.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development