SCAMPER. is essentially a process for expanding and improving upon ideas by testing and questioning them from different angles. For each letter of the mnemonic, ask yourself a related question about your project or the problem at hand:

  • Substitute, e.g.: What would happen to the project if we swapped X for Y?
  • Combine, e.g.: What would happen to the project if we combined X and Y?
  • Adapt, e.g.: What changes would need to be made to adapt this project to a different context?
  • Modify, e.g.: What could we modify to create more value on this project?
  • Put to another use, e.g.: What other uses or applications might this project have?
  • Eliminate, e.g.: What could we remove from the project to simplify it?
  • Reverse, e.g.: How could we reorganize this project to make it more effective?

This method forces you to approach your project or problem in unexpected ways. Each question asks you to dig a little deeper into the issue and consider new possibilities.

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