Every organization has various brainstorming strategies to flesh out new project ideas. Several of them use SCAMPER, an effective problem-solving and creative thinking technique. As you perform this method, remember to use a SCAMPER template.

SCAMPER Templates

What is SCAMPER?

The concept of SCAMPER was originally from Bob Erle, an author of creative books for the youth. He introduced the idea 1971 through his SCAMPER: Games for Imagination Development book.

A SCAMPER diagram is a creative thinking tool that aids in the generation of new ideas or solutions to existing problems. It's an acronym that stands for: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. Each letter represents a different way to spark creativity and think outside the box.

Substitute involves replacing part of the product or idea with something else. Combine means merging two or more parts of your product or idea to form a new one. Adapt is about modifying your product or idea to suit a different purpose or context. Modify involves changing certain aspects of your product or idea to improve it. Put to another use encourages you to think about how you can use your product or idea in a different way. Eliminate is about removing unnecessary parts of your product or idea. Lastly, Reverse suggests looking at your product or idea from a different perspective.

This diagram is particularly useful in brainstorming sessions where fresh perspectives are needed. By systematically going through each step of the SCAMPER process, individuals and teams can break free from habitual thinking patterns and unlock innovative solutions.

In terms of constructing a SCAMPER diagram, it's quite straightforward. You start by writing down the problem or idea you're working on, then apply each of the SCAMPER techniques in turn, noting down any new ideas that arise.

How do you write SCAMPER? 

When writing SCAMPER, each letter indeed stands for a different strategy to stimulate creative thinking. Here's a little more detail on how you might apply each of these strategies:


  • Substitute: Think about what parts of the product or idea you can replace with something else. For instance, could you substitute one material for another, or replace a certain feature with a different one?

  • Combine: Consider how you could merge your idea or product with another one. Could two features be combined into one? Or could your product be integrated with another product?

  • Adapt: Reflect on how you could change your idea or product to serve a new purpose or function. Could it be adapted for use in a different industry or context?

  • Modify: Ponder on what elements of your idea or product could be altered to enhance its value. Could you modify its size, shape, color, sound, smell, or other characteristics?

  • Put to another use: Think creatively about other ways your product or idea could be used. Are there unexpected uses that haven't been considered yet?

  • Eliminate: Evaluate what parts of the product or idea are unnecessary and can be removed without reducing its value. Is there anything that's superfluous and could be eliminated?

  • Reverse/Rearrange: Lastly, try looking at your idea or product from a different perspective. What happens if you reverse the order of steps in a process? Or rearrange the components of your product?

Benefits of the SCAMPER template in Boardmix

The best way to maximize this framework is using a digital SCAMPER template. With Boardmix, you can explore different templates according to your company's requirements. Here are the primary reasons why creating the SCAMPER template with Boardmix is better.

scamper template boardmix

  • You can play with various designs. The method is flexible enough to use mind mapping, include your seven main categories, and create subcategories using arrows and smaller boxes. A SCAMPER template can even be in columns, so you can utilize lines to separate the seven questions and create subtopics under each column.
  • An online template lets you use colors, insert images and stickers. Your options in creating a SCAMPER template online are almost limitless. Colors are excellent indicators to categorize each question. You can visualize your chart through photos, shapes, or stickers if it needs examples.
  • There's better collaboration using a SCAMPER template with Boardmix. You can share the link to your template with everyone, let them view the diagram, and authorize team leaders to edit it. You need not meet personally, as anyone from anywhere can access the template.

How to use the SCAMPER technique?

  1. Gather everyone and notify members about the problem you are trying to solve. It is also best to set precise goals before scampering.
  2. Work on each letter of the SCAMPER template. The breakdown of the technique and some questions to help you out are as follows:
  • Substitute. What can the company change or substitute? Is it your product, the process, or the service? What other tools or products could I use?
  • Combine. During this stage, consider how you can combine segments within the process. An example question is, 'How can you combine resources and talent to develop a new approach to a product?'
  • Adapt. Look into the elements of your processes, products, or services that you can update or adjust to improve. 'In what context can I place my existing product' could be an ideal question.
  • Modify. How can we modify the product's shape, appearance, or vibe? What elements must I add to modify my service or product?
  • Put to another use. What other markets could benefit from my service?
  • Eliminate. What features must I remove to simplify my process?
  • Rearrange. What aspects of process, service, or product could I rearrange?
  1. Gather all the insights from everyone, narrow them down if necessary, and finalize your template. Review and refine the framework before sharing it with team leaders for approval.

When to use the SCAMPER technique?

SCAMPER template is used if you have to get new ideas for campaigns or projects. It can't be avoided that sometimes, team members become stagnant and outdated when giving out insights during brainstorming. The method is easy to use and understand, so everyone can quickly get the hang of it.

In most organizations, the SCAMPER strategy is one of the most straightforward brainstorming methods. The simple technique comes from the idea that something new is based on something already existing. There are no wrong inputs when using the SCAMPER template; all ideas are welcome.


What is the purpose of SCAMPER?

The SCAMPER strategy is primarily used to help organizations explore new insights using seven various perspectives. You can use the structure to ignite the team's potential and boost intelligent decision-making processes.

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