Friday, December 24, 2010

Creative Problem Solving (CPS) - SCAMPER

The purpose of creative thinking is to think in new, unique, novel, unusual, divergent ways to generate possible to potential ideas that may lead to successful solutions or resolutions of problems and challenges. Creative thinking tools have been developed for many years from deliberately to spontaneously or accidentally to help people think more creatively on demand, individually, pairs, triads, teams, groups, even when they are experiencing creative block or people within the group are deliberately resisting creative thinking.

Creative problem solution (CPS) and thinking having these main purposes:
1.1  Generating the ideas
1.2  Gathering the solutions for the selected problems
1.3  Selections of solutions to solve the problems
1.4  Divergent tools for CPS
1.5  Convergent tools for CPS

There are many factors that can impact our thinking at any given time.  The more people involved the more the potential for impact of many variables upon the progress and results. There are a lot of thinking tools such as 5-sensing, 6 Hats of Types of Thinking, Brainstorming, Flowchart, 6 Thinking Hats, S.C.A.M.P.E.R, TRIZ, and many more can be used in creative problem solving. But here, we will be discussing detailed on S.C.A.M.P.E.R technique.


2.1 About S.C.A.M.P.E.R technique

SCAMPER is an acronym created by Bob Eberle to represent a set of idea-triggering questions. Actually, SCAMPER technique is created after initial list from Brainstorming. Some of the questions were originated by Alex Osborn, the advertising guy who invented Brainstorming. You can use SCAMPER as an excellent creative thinking exercise. Generate new ideas with it and come up with groundbreaking new concepts.

            2.2 The SCAMPER is an acronym for:
                        2.2.1  SSubstitute : For components, materials, people
                        2.2.2  CCombine : mix, combine with other assemblies or service,
                        2.2.3  AAdapt : alter, change function, use part of another element
2.2.4 MModify : increase or reduce in scale, change shape, modify  attributes such as colors.
2.2.5  PPut to another use
2.2.6 EEliminate : remove elements, simplify, reduce to core the functionality
2.2.7  RReverse/Rearrange : turn inside out or upside down

           2.3 How SCAMPER works?

SCAMPER works by providing a list of active verbs that you associate with your problem and hence create ideas. As they are all verbs, they are about doing, and so get you to think about action. This technique will assist you in thinking of changes you can make to an existing product to create a new one by a checklist, these can either be used directly or as starting points for lateral thinking.
SCAMPER is a strategy that can be used to assist users to generate new or alternative ideas. It is a tool to support creative, divergent thinking. By using SCAMPER in this instance we have been able to identify possible new products.
Many of the ideas may be unfeasible or may not suit the equipment used by the manufacturer, but some ideas could be good starting points for discussion of new products. Use it to discover more ideas when you are running out and to stimulate new ways of thinking about the problem, perhaps to kick you out of your current rut.

2.4 What is its purpose?

SCAMPER helps users ask questions that require them to think "beyond the lines" of a text. As such, it helps develop their critical thinking skills and supports them in constructing their own imaginative texts. It is a useful cooperative learning tool and a great stimulus for role play. SCAMPER creative thinking technique as a great way to manipulate and transform existing ideas into newer, better ideas. We have been able to identify possible new products. Many of the ideas may be unfeasible or may not suit the equipment used by the manufacturer, but some ideas could be good starting points for discussion of new products.

            2.5 How to use it?

Think about substituting part of your product or process for something else. By looking for something to substitute, you can often come up with new ideas.
Typical questions: What can I substitute to make an improvement? What if I swap this for that and see what happens? How can I substitute the place, time, materials, or people?
Think about combining two or more parts of your probationary to achieve a different product/process to enhance synergy.
Typical questions: What materials, features, processes, peoples, products or components can I combine? Where can I build synergy?
Think about which parts of the product/process could be adapted to remove the probationary or think how you could change the nature of the product/process.
Typical questions: What parts of the product could I change? And in exchange for what? What if I were to change the characteristics of a component?
Think about changing part or all of the current situation, or to distort it in an unusual way. By forcing yourself to come up with new ways working, you are often prompted into an alternative product/process.

Typical questions: What happen if I warp or exaggerate a feature or component? What will happen if I modify the process in some way?

Put to another use
Think of how you might be able to put your current solution/product/ process to other purposes, or think of what you could reuse from somewhere else in order to solve your own probationary. You might think of another way of solving your own probationary or finding another market for your product.
Typical questions: What other market could I use this product in? Who or what else might be able to use it?
Think of what might happen if you eliminated various parts of the product/ process/ probationary and consider what you might do in that situation. This often leads you to consider the different ways of tackling the probationary.
Typical questions: What would happen if I removed a component/part of it? How would I achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it?
Think of what would you do if part of your probationary /product/process worked in reverse or done in a different order. What would you do if you had to do it in reverse? You can use this to see your probationary from different angles and come up with new ideas.
Typical questions: What if I did it the other way around? What if I reverse the order it is done or the way it is used? How would I achieve the opposite effect?

In essence, you should ask yourself questions relating to each of the SCAMPER words to come up with new ideas. Spend more time developing questions which challenge your current way of thinking.


3.1 As a designer, you have been asking from your company to invent a new type of pen. You need to consider about market and customers needs. Your company wants the creative pens that not have in the market.

What can I substitute to the pen to make an improvement? What if I put the knife and see what happens? How can I substitute the knife for my pen? What if I add the laser for my pen?
Substitute with slide small knife behind the pen so that it can slide out to use the knife. Laser will be place on the top of the pen so that it can use as a pointer for the slide presentation.
What is combination used of the pen besides writing? Laser combine with pen, does it work?
Writing with cutting and pointed laser for the presentation.
What parts of the pen I must change so that the knife and laser could be work? What if I were to change the characteristics of a component?
Pen top as a laser and can be remove to open the slide knife. The middle of the pen body should be modifying so that the slide knife can be place to the pen.
What happen if I deform a feature or component? What will happen if I modify the material of the main body?

 Body to be flexible using the high quality of rubber to make it can stand with force when cutting process and comfortable to hold.

Put to 
another use
Who or what else might be able to use it? Could it used as a power supply to mp3?
Presenter can used it to point the slide as he/she can write the point to the paper that projected to slide. The battery can be support the mp3 by connecting to the laser battery.
What would happen if I removed a component/part of it? How would I achieve the solution without the normal way of doing it?
The slide knife should be small or applicable to the pen size. Material from the steel should be reducing by replace using rubber synthetic that can reduce the weight of pen.
Reverse /Rearrange
What if I use a knife that can fold outwards?
Knife to fold outwards

3.2 Imagine that you are a manufacturer of water balancing for construction of the building, and you were looking for new invention for the water balancing that already in the market. SCAMPER would give you:

What can I substitute to the water balancing? Is the component for water balancing in the market completely or easy to use?

Put the sensor that can detect unbalance angle for the surface to the water balancing. Instead of the sensor, we can sharply measure the 90° of angle.

What can I combine or bring together somehow? How about a
protractor to the water balancing? Would the needle gauge work to show the angle of the surface to the protractor reading?
I can bring together protractor with needle gauge that immerse in the liquid and a sensor that can use to detect sharply 90°.
What can I adapt for use as a solution? What other idea does this suggest?
I can adapt a sound component, in this way it can produce the sound if the angle below 90° to check the exactly 90°.
Can I change the item in some way? Other changes?
I can change the original water balancing to the electronic water balancing by producing the electronic circuit for the sensor. In this way, this water balancing can work as a sensor.
Put to another use
How can I put the thing to different or other uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if it is modified?
I can re-use the water balancing to measure the angle where the original water balancing is used to check the angle.
What can I eliminate? Remove something? Cut costs?
I can eliminate the cost by using the high plastic quality to the body.
Reverse/ Rearrange
What can be rearranged in some way? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout?

I can rearrange the component like put the switch such that it can be switch of if we want to measure the angle.

4.6    Lumsdaine, E. & Lumsdaine, M. (1995). Creative Problem Solving. New           York:McGRAW-HILL,INC.
4.7    Michael J Hicks. (2004). Problem Solving & Decision Making: Hard, Soft and Creative Approaches, 2nd edition. Thomson Learning 2004.

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