Process Innovation: SCAMPER

SCAMPER is an acronym used in creativity and Lateral Thinking to stimulate creative thought. The letters in SCAMPER stands for:

· Substitute

· Combine

· Adapt / Automate

· Modify

· Put to another use

· Eliminate

· Reverse

We apply these mnemonics to the Canvas, using each trigger in each block in the Canvas.

For example, we can ask in the Output block – can this output be Put to Another Use? Can we Eliminate the output altogether? Or in the Activities block, can we Combine two activities? Can an activity be Automated?

The following matrix will explore options for each intersection of block in the Canvas and the SCAMPER trigger.

SCAMPER / Canvas Innovation Matrix

Substitute Combine Adapt / Automate Modify Put to Another Use Eliminate Reverse
clip_image002 Is there a Customer who can better utilize the Output? Can this Customer use Outputs from other processes? Can we change how the Customer uses the Output? Can we skip this Customer and give the Output directly to the Customer’s Customer? Can the Customer give us a different Input to the Process?
clip_image006 Can we substitute one type of Input for another? Can we combine multiple inputs into one? Can we modify an Input to be better used? Can we use an Input in another process? Do we need this Input to provide the same Process Value? Where does the Input come from? What process Output is it?
clip_image008Trigger Can the Process be initiated with a different trigger? If the Trigger is manual, can it be automated (either the trigger generation or consumption) Can the Trigger be made cheaper or more reliable? Can this Trigger initiate more than one Process? Can we eliminate this Trigger and use a different one? What creates this Trigger? Can that process change?
clip_image010 Can the Input come from a different Supplier? Can one Supplier supply more than one Input? Can we eliminate a Supplier and replace it with something else? What Inputs do we give to the Supplier? Can we change those to improve the supply?
clip_image012 Can we perform the same action with a different activity? Can we combine two activities into one? Can we automate the activities? Can we change an activity to make it easier? Can this activity give us a different result? Can we eliminate this activity?
clip_image014 Can someone else do this process? Can one person perform the activity two are now? Can we eliminate this actor?
clip_image018 Could a different output obtain the same process value? Can two outputs be combined and give the same value? Can this output be changed to create more value or less cost? Can the customer use this output in a different way? Is this output necessary for the process value? What is this output and input to? Does that create possibilities for improvement?
clip_image020 Can the output be delivered differently? Does the output take two different channels? Can those be combined?
clip_image022Feedback Can feedback be changed to control the process better? Are there multiple feedback mechanisms that can be combined? Can the feedback automatically control the process? Can feedback be used in a different process? Is there feedback from a different process that could be used? Is this feedback necessary? Is it used?
clip_image024Feed Forward Can feed forward be changed to notify the customer better? Are there multiple feed forward mechanisms that can be combined? Can the feed forward automatically control the next process? Can feed forward be used in a different process? Is there feed forward from a different process that could be used?

As you can see, the SCAMPER triggers bring up many possibilities for process innovation. Remember, SCAMPER should be a trigger for idea generation and the matrix above is just a few of the possible uses for SCAMPER in the Innovation Model.