Week 4 — Don't let the process get in the way.


During week 2 we applied some of the ideation techniques we discussed in the course.

We were encouraged to experiment with techniques we haven’t with before (to learn about them; to get a feel for them), and what I noticed was some of us completely stumbled over a few of the techniques.

Case in point: SCAMPER (Michalko 1991). (Recall that SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify (Also Magnify and Minify), Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse.) Some of us thought you literally had to apply each of the steps, and in order. This might or mightn’t be the way this technique was intended to be used, but then I also discovered the Creative Thinkpak (Michalko 2006), which encourages you to try a random SCAMPER until you have a breakthrough. I ended up building an online SCAMPER randomiser (Uys 2020) and then shared it with my cohort.

My pack of Creative Thinkpak

Much has been said about using the “right tool for the job” and “tools don’t solve problems, people do” (Kastelle 2011) but sometimes tools get in the way. We have to be mindful of this and apply a manner of meta-creativity in how we use our tools: either we use the tool differently, or use a different tool altogether.

Be agile. People over processes (Beck and Beedle 2015). Put yourself ahead of your tools.


  1. BECK, Kent and Mike BEEDLE. 2015. “Agile Manifesto for Software Development.” Agile Alliance. Available at: https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101/the-agile-manifesto/ [accessed 13 Oct 2020].
  2. KASTELLE, Tim. 2011. “Tools Don’t Solve Problems, People Do.” Tim Kastelle. Available at: https://timkastelle.org/blog/2011/02/tools-dont-solve-problems-people-do/ [accessed 13 Oct 2020].
  3. MICHALKO, Michael. 1991. Thinkertoys: a Handbook of Business Creativity for the ’90s. Berkeley, Calif: Ten Speed Press.
  4. MICHALKO, Michael. 2006. Thinkpak: Instructions for Using the Brainstorming Card Deck. Revised. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.
  5. UYS, Juan. 2020. “Randomised SCAMPER.” Available at: https://juanuys.com/scamper [accessed 13 Oct 2020].

This post is part of my critical reflective journal and was written during week 4 of the module development practice.

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