Transformers – a brainstorm technique for systems or processes

Transformers is a variant of the Scamper method. It is particularly good if you are looking to improve or radically change a process. Take the problem and draw it as a simple flow process.  Then take a verb at random from a list of ‘transformer verbs’.   Brainstorm by using that verb aggressively in divergent thinking about the flow chart and any aspects of the process.  Here is the list of verbs we use:

Subtract         Rotate
Help                Unify
Reverse          Multiply
Distort            Eliminate
Freeze            Divide
Rearrange     Flatten
Transpose     Integrate
Bypass           Extract
Soften           Separate
Segregate      Minimise
Invert             Substitute
Stretch          Add
Symbolise     Submerge
Protect          Squeeze
Magnify         Reinforce

Say that you are seeking to improve your sales process for selling flowers and you get the verb rearrange.  Then you would deliberately make extreme rearrangements. What if we delivered the flowers before the customer had ordered them?  We could do that by taking annual orders years in advance e.g. for anniversaries.  What if we rearranged the flower shop so that customer called in his order and we delivered at the railway station?  And so on. It is important to use the verbs in very intense ways in order to disturb and stimulate the process.

More details on all my brainstorm methods in How to Generate Ideas – available on Kindle

2 thoughts on “Transformers – a brainstorm technique for systems or processes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *