SCAMPER is a technique that is often used by many to ignite the silent creative genius lying within them. When used correctly, and with purpose, it has the ability to help anyone, including you, to rise above any present challenge. Basically, SCAMPER can be described as a general-purpose checklist which may contain questions that require extensive brainstorming.
SCAMPER is an easy concept to implement individually, however, the purpose of this article is to discuss SCAMPER techniques for improving productivity within an organization. With that said, SCAMPER in itself is a self-improvement technique and is more difficult to implement in a multinational organization or a small business.
SCAMPER is an acronym for seven words which are used to direct brainstorming questions. For example, imagine being in a brainstorming session in your organization with the need to come up with the best design for an already existing product. How do you go about brainstorming for such ideas? You ask questions, right? These questions become more effective if they are built around the SCAMPER technique.
The Meaning of SCAMPER and How to Implement It:
S = SUBSTITUTE: The questions in this step may include: "What can I substitute in my current state of mind?" or ,if you’re an organization, "With what can you substitute your current process or product?" In short, you should start thinking about substituting part of yourself or your product/process for something else that will bring about improvement. By looking for something to substitute you can often come up with exceptional new ideas.
C = COMBINE: Consider combining two or more parts of your present challenge to achieve a different product/process or to improve productivity.
A = ADAPT: "What process or product can I adapt or copy from others?" A lot of processes these days are a result of looking at what is helping others succeed, and then doing the same thing for yourself.
M = MAGNIFY: This step challenges you and your organization to think about altering part or all of the current manufacturing processes or products in order to pave way for improvement and/or better products.
P = PUT TO OTHER USES: Observe your current process and products and ask yourself, "How can you put them to other uses?"
E = ELIMINATE: Get rid of irrelevant things or activities to create room for improvement. Questions like the following are often useful in this stage: "What can we eliminate or simplify to improve our process?"
R = REARRANGE: Think about rearranging a part or all of your manufacturing process. You may ask questions such as "How can I change, reorder or reverse our current process to improve production or service?"
The SCAMPER technique becomes very effective for businesses when multiple people are involved in the brainstorming sessions, soinvolve as many employees as possible.