creativity and innovationThere are many creativity and innovation tools out there for deployment in the workplace but there is one tool – or rather a brainstorming technique – called SCAMPER that can help you to generate  a lot of ideas for development of new products/services and especially for innovating existing products/services…

SCAMPER is an acronym that stands for:

1- Substitute.
2- Combine.
3- Adapt.
4- Modify.
5- Put to another use.
6- Eliminate.
7- Reverse.

You can start using SCAMPER immediately by asking questions about your products or services in each of the above 7 areas.

Here are some example questions to ask in the SCAMPER process:

1- Substitute

What other material could be used to make the product? For example, carbon fiber instead of steel.
Would it be possible to substitute the use of this product in another place? For example, change the industry where it is used.

2- Combine

How would you combine this product with another to create a new offering? For example classes and e-learning to offer a blended learning experience.
What if you could combine 2 objectives with just one product? For example the suitcase with wheels for convenience of travelers.

3- Adapt

How could you adapt or readjust this product to serve another purpose or use? For example, a lite version at lower cost.
What adjustments may be needed in a process to provide more flexibility? For example a monthly payment option for those who prefer buying this way.

4- Modify

How could you change the shape, look, or feel of your product? For example a brighter color mobile phone for younger audiences.
What could you emphasize or highlight to create more value? For example a new kind of packaging to make the offering look more attractive. 

5- Put to Another Use

Can you use this product somewhere else, perhaps in another industry? For example changing geographic location or industry.
How would this product behave differently in another setting? For example an environmental friendly version for the US market. 

6- Eliminate

What features, parts, or rules could you eliminate? For example a computer screen without a separate CPU with the processing built into the screen.
How could you make it smaller, faster, lighter, or more fun? For example a smaller 4-wheel drive that is more fun to drive e.g. Toyota RAV
What would happen if you took away part of this product? What would you have in its place?

7- Reverse

What would happen if you reversed an assumption? For examples all restaurants have menus can reverse to a unique restaurant with no menu – you can order your own dish
What roles could you reverse or swap? Instead of the seller setting the price, how about the buyer setting the price? This is the reverse auction