SCAMPER is an interesting and useful divergent thinking tool, and I have found an example of something that may have been SCAMPERed, with particular success.
SCAMPER is an acronym which prompts for ways to think about things, situations, and problems. Created by Alex Osborn (the father of brainstorming, Creative Problem Solving, the Creative Education Foundation, the CPSI Conference, and more), and codified by Bob Eberle, SCAMPER asks questions, such as (but not limited to) these:
- Substitute: What can I substitute for it? What can I substitute with it? What part of it can be substituted with something else?
- Combine: What can I combine it with? What can be combined with it?
- Adapt: What can I adapt for use as a solution?
- Modify / Minimize / Maximize: How can I change it? What if I make it larger? Smaller? As big as possible? As small as possible?
- Put to other uses: What else can I use this for?
- Eliminate: What parts can I do without? What happens if I eliminate all of it?
- Rearrange: What can be reordered? How?
Now, let’s talk crackers.
How do you feel about saltines? If you’re like me, you can take them or leave them. They’re fine, which I think is one of the worst things you can say about something. Recently, my mother discovered Nabisco Minis, saltine crackers about an inch square. I don’t know why, but they’re incredibly good. They are, as far as I can tell, the same product, but minimized. And something about that size makes them wonderful.
What, in your product or service line, can you SCAMPER, and make better?