The SCAMPER technique developed in the 70s Bob Eberle is an excellent method used to improve products or services or create new ones. It was created to provide 7 different strategies to find innovative ideas and solutions.
SCAMPER is an acronym for:
Substitute: The substitute technique concentrates on which elements in the product, service or solution you can replace. In this phase, you need to focus on making decisions to substitute part of the process; it might be people, components, or steps in the process.
It would be best if you made sure that whatever you are substituting won’t affect the whole project, and is, in fact, a better alternative.
For example, you may decide to raise capital from your inner circle first instead of a VC to create an MVP.
This technique provides alternative solutions for you to evaluate different solutions to reach the final decision.
Combine: is basically What can be combined together to give better results. You will have to study the possibility of merging two different ideas, components or products in one single more efficient outcome.
For example, your business may decide to combine two technologies to come up with new technology.
Adapt: What can be added? What can you adapt as a solution? What minor or significant tweaks on the product or service that can result in a more competitive result.
An example could be removing a feature from your product to make it easier for shipment or more price competitive.
Modify/Magnify: This method refers to adjusting the process to unleash more innovation. The modification focuses on improving the overall process. However, before jumping into modification you need to ask yourself the following:
- How will these modifications improve the final product/solution?
- Will this help increase my consumer base?
- Can we change the process to work more efficiently?
For example, you may try modifying the product feature to accommodate new niche markets.
Purpose: could your product or service have another use? Even if in a different industry? Maybe by adding a new feature, your product can serve more than one need.
For instance, you may use packaging that customers can use as containers for anything.
Eliminate/Minimize: What can be removed or simplified? In this part, you try to eliminate unnecessary resources. You need to answer questions like:
- What could happen if we removed a part of the product? Can it be more efficient?
- How can we deliver the same product without a particular part of the project?
Rearrange/Reverse: Can I exchange elements, designs, or products? What would happen if you reversed the product’s production process?
By exploring new idea generation techniques, and finding the one that fits your team’s culture, you will give your team the creative tools that will help them generate ideas in any circumstances.