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{Excerpt} Ideas are not often plucked out of thin air. The SCAMPER brainstorming technique uses a set of directed questions to resolve a problem (or meet an opportunity). It can also turn a tired idea into something new and different.

A problem is situation, condition, or issue that remains unresolved and makes it difficult to accomplish a desired objective. A problem is perceived when an individual, group, or organization becomes aware of a significant difference between what is desired and what actually is. Trying to find a solution to a problem is known as problem solving. Problem solving is the process by which a situation is analyzed, a workable solution is determined, and corrective actionis taken. The common milestones of problem solving are to:

• Define (or clarify) the problem.

• Analyze causes.

• Generate ideas (identify alternatives).

• Weigh up ideas (assess alternatives).

• Make a decision (select an alternative).

• Determine next steps to implement the solution.

• Evaluate whether the problem was solved or not.


Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). The scamper technique. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (