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Use SCAMPER to help design potential solutions

Bill Jarrard's picture

SCAMMPERR

This is a tool you can use to generate more ideas, or to improve starting or existing ideas.

An idea is almost never a solution.  Often you will generate some useful ideas, to solve a problem or achieve a goal, that aren't quite complete yet.  They're okay, but not great.  Other times, you have an existing idea that may be working, but could be better. This is when a critical thinking tool like SCAMMPERR is quite helpful.

Try using these different words represented by the letters in SCAMMPERR (the orginal SCAMPER was created by Bob Eberle based on the work of Alex Osborn and Sid Parnes) to help you design/build on an idea to make it even better, stronger. 

 

Starting idea: ________________________

 

Substitute

Combine

Adapt

Modify

Magnify

Put to other use

Eliminate

Re-arrange

Reversal

 

Example

Let's say you have a starting (or existing) idea on how to promote your upcoming event in a new geographical market.  Your plan is to advertise in local newspapers, but you would like to make the idea bigger, bolder, more impactful, with adding a huge additional cost. 

Using SCAMMPERR we apply some creative thinking as we consider each letter/word represented.  Note that some will be more fruitful than others, and that your aim can be to come up with lots of new ideas, or simple find a few ways to make the existing idea stronger.  Start be being clear on your Focus and Purpose.

S - Substitute the Local Newspaper add with a letterbox drop to all the homes and businesses local to where your event is to be held.

C - Combine the local newspaper ad with some feature articles you will write for the papers.  Local media is always looking for new material that is relevant locally.

A - Adapt your event to fit in with other local events that are happening about the same time. Is there a local issue or theme you can focus on to draw attention to your event.

M - Modify your approach to suit different age groups and demogrpahicsin the event area.  Seek to appeal to as many variations as possible.

M - Magnify the importance of your event by inviting local politicions and celebrates along to support it.

P - Put to other uses the proceeds of the event - maybe contribute 20% to the development a local children's facility (pool, playground etc)

E - Eliminate any questions about when and where the event will be having some young people dress up as mascots with some relevance to the event theme, and have them walk the streets in the event area.  Could be done on days leading up to and also on the day of the event.

R - Rearrange your schedule to arrive in the event location a few weeks prior to the event and organise to do some interviews with local media - radio stations, newspapers, maybe even schools, and don't leave out the local TV station

R - Reverse your thinking above, and also plan to revisit the eveny locality a couple of weeks after the event to get some local feedback.  Use this feedback to make your next event even better, but get lots of testimonials to promote other events you run.

So there you go, just a quick example of how you might use SCAMPER to enrich your thinking.  Download the template and give it a try now.


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SCAMMPERR_Worksheet.pdf11.62 KB

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