Osborn's Checklist

A to Z of
Creativity Techniques
Observer and Merged Viewpoints
Other Peoples Definitions

A basic rule of Brainstorming is build onto ideas already suggested. Alex Osborn, the originator of classical brainstorming, first communicated this. A checklist was formulated as a means of transforming an existing idea into a new one. The checklist is designed to have a flexible, trial and error type of approach. A derivation of Osborn’s checklist is SCAMPER.

The Checklist:

  • Put to other uses? As it is?… If modified?..
  • Adapt? Is there anything else like this? What does this tell you? Is the past comparable?
  • Modify? Give it a new angle? Alter the colour, sound, odour, meaning, motion, and shape?
  • Magnify? Can anything be added, time, frequency, height, length, strength? Can it be duplicated, multiplied or exaggerated?
  • Minify? Can anything be taken away? Made smaller? Lowered? Shortened? Lightened? Omitted? Broken up?
  • Substitute? Different ingredients used? Other material? Other processes? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice? Someone else?
  • Rearrange? Swap components? Alter the pattern, sequence or layout? Change the pace or schedule? Transpose cause and effect?
  • Reverse? Opposites? Backwards? Reverse roles? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? Transpose ‘+/-‘?
  • Combine? Combine units, purposes, appeals or ideas? A blend, alloy, or an ensemble?