SCAMPER: The Ultimate Guide to Using SCAMPER

Have you ever had an idea for something, but you're not quite sure how to make it happen? Maybe it's a book, or a new product, or a business idea. You've got all the pieces in your head but don't know what order they go in. That can be hard without the necessary technical and creative skills.

The SCAMPER method is a brainstorming technique that can help you come up with new ideas. It has six steps designed to get your mind moving and creative. This blog post will give you a rundown of what SCAMPER technique is and how to do a SCAMPER analysis.

What does SCAMPER mean?

SCAMPER is an idea generation technique that seeks to increase your creativity by analyzing the problem from every angle. Developed by Alex Osborn and formalized by Bob Eberle, this "drill down" philosophy breaks larger tasks into smaller pieces to analyze them more thoroughly.

SCAMPER is an acronym for:





Put to another use.



You can use the above triggers systematically or at random to generate new ideas and solutions. You can use it for:

  • Ideating new products and services
  • Business analysis and problem-solving
  • Exploring solutions to a situation

How do you do a SCAMPER analysis?

It's best to understand how to use all the SCAMPER categories to understand how this tool will work for you entirely. Knowing which categories are most useful is easy after analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. Here is a breakdown of the categories:

1. Substitute (S)

Substitution is an easy way to come up with new ideas. It's thinking outside the box by using different resources than those generally used for this situation. Ask yourself, "What else could I use instead of this?" You might discover something completely unexpected.

2. Combine (C)

Combining is an excellent way to take one resource and put it together with another one that complements or completes it somehow. This idea works best when you have two different concepts. You could combine two of your favorite condiments to create a new and unique sandwich topping. Combinations can be physical or mental ideas put together to make something whole.

3. Adapt (A)

Adapting is similar to combining, except it focuses more on changing one idea into a different form to work for the situation at hand. This trigger looks at taking one idea or thought and changing it to fit another circumstance where it was not initially intended for use but would work better.

4. Modify (M)

Modification is looking at how you can change existing items until they are more usable for what they're intended for. This is good when you need to improve functionality, add a feature, or remove something entirely from an idea that's not working out. What could you modify about your product or service? Could it be made better for the people who use it?

5. Put to another use (P)

Sometimes one item can have many uses depending on the situation. Simply asking yourself, "how else could I use this?" can lead to more exciting ideas. This method is excellent when you see something that can be applied to a situation in a new way. Doing this helps you save on money by reusing materials that used to be wasted in one function but now are working for you in another.

6. Eliminate (E)

Elimination involves removing things that aren't necessary, redundant, or incompatible with your needs. This is good for situations with too many ideas making it difficult to choose the one best suited for your purposes.

The benefit of eliminating is that sometimes getting rid of a bad idea can help bring out other helpful ones later on down the line. You could also eliminate variables in an experiment so that you can figure out which ones affect your outcome by only keeping what's necessary.

7. Reverse (R)

Reverse involves changing something in your usual way of doing things. Doing so offers different results than what you're used to and may reveal new ways of approaching situations previously covered up by the way you usually do things.

The benefit of this method is looking at concepts from a completely different angle when all other methods have failed. It also helps clear out mental blocks and mental barriers.

Bottom line

SCAMPER is a simple way to think of creativity. It helps you generate new ideas by looking at old ones from different angles and perspectives, leading to breakthroughs in your work or life. MindManager's visual mapping software allows you to use this powerful technique in the digital world with just a few clicks.

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