This tool can help you develop new products and services.
It can often be difficult to come up with new ideas when you're trying to develop or improve a product or service.
This is where creative brainstorming techniques like SCAMPER can help. This tool helps you generate ideas for new products and services by encouraging you to think about how you could improve existing ones.
We'll look at SCAMPER in this article.
SCAMPER is a mnemonic that stands for:
You use the tool by asking questions about existing products, using each of the seven prompts above. These questions help you come up with creative ideas for developing new products, and for improving current ones.
Alex Osborn, credited by many as the originator of brainstorming, originally came up with many of the questions used in the technique. However, it was Bob Eberle, an education administrator and author, who organized these questions into the SCAMPER mnemonic.
Remember that the word "products" doesn't only refer to physical goods. Products can also include processes, services, and even people. You can therefore adapt this technique to a wide range of situations.
SCAMPER is really easy to use.
First, take an existing product or service. This could be one that you want to improve, one that you're currently having problems with, or one that you think could be a good starting point for future development.
Then, ask questions about the product you identified, using the mnemonic to guide you. Brainstorm as many questions and answers as you can. (We've included some example questions, below.)
Finally, look at the answers that you came up with. Do any stand out as viable solutions? Could you use any of them to create a new product, or develop an existing one? If any of your ideas seem viable, then you can explore them further.
Let's look at some of the questions you could ask for each letter of the mnemonic:
Some ideas that you generate using the tool may be impractical or may not suit your circumstances. Don't worry about this – the aim is to generate as many ideas as you can.
SCAMPER helps you develop new products and services. Many of the questions it uses were created by Alec Osborn, but Bob Eberle developed the mnemonic.
SCAMPER stands for:
To use SCAMPER, you simply go down the list and ask questions regarding each element. Remember, not every idea you generate will be viable; however, you can take good ideas and explore them further.
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