Proudly presented in BC by the Creative Problem Solving Society (CPSS)

The Scamperizing Machine

Sometimes your team tends to get stuck on one idea and not be able to think bigger than that idea. They just get fixated with one solution, and when it doesn't work, they keep trying the SAME solution over and over again, without actually modifying it! Here is an exercise:

Make 4 columns on the blackboard, with the headings "Benefits", "Disadvantages", "SCAMPER", and "Results/Other Possibilities".

Ask the team to discuss the advantages/benefits of their idea. What is GOOD about this idea? Then, they write them in the first column.

Next, discuss what doesn't work about this idea, what the disadvantages were. What doesn't work about this idea? Those got written down in the second column.

Then, we SCAMPER!

    S - substitute
    C - combine
    A - adapt
    M - modify
    E - elminate/expand
    R - reverse (I think I got those all correct!)

Ask  the kids how they could SCAMPER the things they wrote down in column two.

Finally, we discuss possible changes they could make to their original solution to take those disadvantages/ things that weren't working, and turn them into benefits/things that did work.