Tool 174: SCAMPER


SCAMPER Questions


Analyzing/Trending (AT)

Tool description

The SCAMPER tool is an outcome of the creative facilitation work performed by Alex F. Osborne in the 1950s. Consisting of a checklist of simple questions, this tool can be used by a team to explore the issues and question everything to formulate new, fresh ideas. Problem-solving teams often produce many solution ideas when responding to the SCAMPER questions asked.

Typical application

  • To question and identify improvement opportunities for processes, products, and services.

  • To formulate alternative ideas for problem solving or process change.

  • To produce a large number of solution ideas.

Problem-solving phase

Select and define problem or opportunity

Identify and analyze causes or potential change

Develop and plan possible solutions or change

Implement and evaluate solution or change

Measure and report solution or change results

Recognize and reward team efforts

Typically used by






Project management





Customer/quality metrics


Change management

start sidebar
links to other tools


  • Brainstorming

  • Checksheet

  • Defect Map

  • Pareto Chart

  • Events Log


  • Starbursting

  • Countermeasures Matrix

  • Problem Analysis

  • Process Analysis

  • Solution Matrix

end sidebar

Notes and key points

  • The mnemonic SCAMPER (developed by Bob Eberle) stands for:

    • S - Substitute?

    • C - Combine?

    • A - Adapt?

    • M - Modify? Magnify?

    • P - Put to other uses?

    • E - Eliminate? Minimize?

    • R - Reverse? Rearrange?

Step-by-step procedure

  • STEP 1 Assemble a representative team with knowledge of the topic, issue, or problem to be analyzed. See example Defective Flashlight Switch.

  • STEP 2 One by one, the idea-spurring SCAMPER questions are presented to the team.

  • STEP 3 Participants discuss the questions and formulate ideas. Responses are recorded as the SCAMPER checklist or questions are completed.

Example of tool application

Defective Flashlight Switch

SCAMPER Questions—Defective Switch

Date xx/xx/xx

S - Can we substitute a more reliable switch?

C - Combine slide switch assembly with the signaling button?

A - What ideas or concepts can be adapted from other similar switches?

M - Modify the switch to have fewer parts?

P - Can the switch be put to other uses?

E - Can the switch be eliminated or exchanged?

R - How can we rearrange the components of the switch to a more robust design?

Six Sigma Tool Navigator(c) The Master Guide for Teams
Six Sigma Tool Navigator: The Master Guide for Teams
ISBN: 1563272954
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 326 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: