Topics

Gamification in KM - real experiences #gamification


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Hi,
 
There's been a lot of talk about applying "gamification" - e.g. this APQC overview here: http://www.apqc.org/knowledge-base/documents/gamification-knowledge-management-apqc-overview 

I myself have ambiguous thoughts about it: I think in the short term they can create some buzz. However ultimately KM applications have to offer value to those using them from a work effectiveness perspective - regardless of whether you get points from using them.
 
So I'd be interested in people's experiences of gamification & KM - both positive & negative - recognising that the less successful efforts may not get publicised in the literature. Feel free to drop me a line off-list also.
 
Cheers,
 
Matt


Stephen Bounds
 

Hey Matt,

I haven't been "gamified" but I do feel that it's likely to live or die by how seriously management take it.

I wrote up some thoughts on the topic about a month ago here: http://bounds.net.au/node/99

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 9/05/2013 8:37 PM, Matt Moore wrote:
Hi,

There's been a lot of talk about applying "gamification" - e.g. this APQC overview here: http://www.apqc.org/knowledge-base/documents/gamification-knowledge-management-apqc-overview

I myself have ambiguous thoughts about it: I think in the short term they can create some buzz. However ultimately KM applications have to offer value to those using them from a work effectiveness perspective - regardless of whether you get points from using them.

So I'd be interested in people's experiences of gamification & KM - both positive & negative - recognising that the less successful efforts may not get publicised in the literature. Feel free to drop me a line off-list also.

Cheers,

Matt

_______________________________________________
Actkm mailing list
Actkm@actkm.org
http://actkm.org/mailman/listinfo/actkm_actkm.org


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Stephen,

Thanks for the link. I think our perspectives are pretty close. What I have said a few times to colleagues is that organisations are *already* gamified - with salaries, promotions, being left alone, etc. And as, you note, if the little rewards (points) are not linked to the bigger rewards (see previous) then people will see them for the baubles they are.

That said, I'd like to hear some actual implementation experiences from people if possible.

Cheers,

Matt


Stan Garfield
 

Matt, I have experience with a KM points systems (KM Stars when I was at HP), and it worked quite well.  See Recognize and Reward for Desired Behaviors and KM Stars by Andrew Gent (SIKM member).

I also suggest talking with  Steve Kaukonen and Thomas Hsu of Accenture (both SIKM members) and Bryant Clevenger of IBM ( http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bryant-clevenger/1/5b1/22b ) about their experiences.


Lee, Jim <jlee@...>
 

Matt, thanks for the mention. We always appreciate knowing when folks get value from our research. Here’s a question for the community: What are your experiences or awareness of the gamification aspects of SharePoint 2013?

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KM Senior Advisor, APQC

+1-713-685-4764 – office (vmail)

+1-216-338-3548 – mobile (direct)

jlee@...

www.apqc.org

Make Best Practices Your PracticesSM

 

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Bill Dixon
 

There are some pretty interesting examples of successful applications of gamification in science.  Leveraging citizen scientists to map the human genome comes immediately to mind.  CheckOut http://www.fiercebiotechit.com/special-reports/fierces-top-5-feats-life-sciences-gamification

I think the article does a pretty good job implicating key success factors.  There's been lots of conceptual discussion in pharma about ways to leverage gamification in practice, particularly regarding specific disease states.  I'm not sure anyone has gotten it right yet but there are exciting success stories.

BD


On May 9, 2013, at 9:04 AM, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

 

Hey Matt,

I haven't been "gamified" but I do feel that it's likely to live or die
by how seriously management take it.

I wrote up some thoughts on the topic about a month ago here:
http://bounds.net.au/node/99

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 9/05/2013 8:37 PM, Matt Moore wrote:
> Hi,
>
> There's been a lot of talk about applying "gamification" - e.g. this APQC overview here: http://www.apqc.org/knowledge-base/documents/gamification-knowledge-management-apqc-overview
>
> I myself have ambiguous thoughts about it: I think in the short term they can create some buzz. However ultimately KM applications have to offer value to those using them from a work effectiveness perspective - regardless of whether you get points from using them.
>
> So I'd be interested in people's experiences of gamification & KM - both positive & negative - recognising that the less successful efforts may not get publicised in the literature. Feel free to drop me a line off-list also.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Matt
>
> _______________________________________________
> Actkm mailing list
> Actkm@...
> http://actkm.org/mailman/listinfo/actkm_actkm.org
>


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Thanks Stan,
 
I think this has crystalised some of my issues with gamification. Sometimes I'm seeing it used as panacea. If you're looking at participation in a work system/process/activity then I think you need to start by asking:
1. Are participants getting work-related value out of it? (does it help them do their jobs)
2. Is it easy to do? (or does it not impose unnecessary effort costs on people)
If you can answer "yes" to both questions then you can start thinking about additional engagement levers. If you can't then you are just putting lipstick on a pig.
 
One important element from your cases studies is that there was a follow up at the end in terms of prizes, acknowledgements from powerful people in the organsation etc.
 
I also think we should never underestimate the important of saying thank you to people! 


Cheers,
 
Matt
________________________________
From: StanGarfield <stangarfield@gmail.com>
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Friday, 10 May 2013 4:04 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Gamification in KM - real experiences


Matt, I have experience with a KM points systems (KM Stars when I was at HP), and it worked quite well.  See Recognize and Reward for Desired Behaviors and KM Stars by Andrew Gent (SIKM member).

I also suggest talking with  Steve Kaukonen and Thomas Hsu of Accenture (both SIKM members) and Bryant Clevenger of IBM ( http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bryant-clevenger/1/5b1/22b ) about their experiences.


Stan Garfield
 

> I also think we should never underestimate the important of saying thank you to people! 

I agree wholeheartedly, Matt.


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Matt,

I kind of disagree. I think an important use case for gamification is where the value accrues to the organisation, not the individual. In fact, isn't this kind of the point? To encourage things which aren't naturally being done to get done?

I would also be cautious about prizes and acknowledgements. What you're doing is designing a game with extrinsic rewards, which are harder to sustain than intrinsic rewards.

Extrinsic rewards the same problem as pay increases or "expected" bonuses: they rapidly become just part of the status quo. If we must gamify, then as far as possible the activities should be intrinsically rewarding.

Management involvement should be limited to *support* of the activity, ie we agree it is a good thing for you to spend time on this.

Although it's a bit game-reference heavy, this video is well worth a watch to explain what I mean:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h86g-XgUCA8&feature=youtu.be&t=1m2s

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 10/05/2013 10:43 AM, Matt Moore wrote:
Thanks Stan,

I think this has crystalised some of my issues with gamification.
Sometimes I'm seeing it used as panacea. If you're looking at
participation in a work system/process/activity then I think you need to
start by asking:
1. Are participants getting work-related value out of it? (does it help
them do their jobs)
2. Is it easy to do? (or does it not impose unnecessary effort costs on
people)
If you can answer "yes" to both questions then you can start thinking
about additional engagement levers. If you can't then you are just
putting lipstick on a pig.

One important element from your cases studies is that there was a follow
up at the end in terms of prizes, acknowledgements from powerful people
in the organsation etc.

I also think we should never underestimate the important of saying
thank you to people!

Cheers,

Matt
________________________________
From: StanGarfield <stangarfield@gmail.com
<mailto:stangarfield%40gmail.com>>
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com <mailto:sikmleaders%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, 10 May 2013 4:04 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Gamification in KM - real experiences

Matt, I have experience with a KM points systems (KM Stars when I was at
HP), and it worked quite well. See Recognize and Reward for Desired
Behaviors and KM Stars by Andrew Gent (SIKM member).

I also suggest talking with Steve Kaukonen and Thomas Hsu of Accenture
(both SIKM members) and Bryant Clevenger of IBM (
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bryant-clevenger/1/5b1/22b ) about their
experiences.


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Stephen,
 
"I kind of disagree. I think an important use case for gamification is  where the value accrues to the organisation, not the individual. In  fact, isn't this kind of the point? To encourage things which aren't naturally being done to get done?"
 
Not really sure what you're disagreeing with here. I didn't say that that use cases shouldn't benefit the organisation (that's kind of obvious). My point is that you should first check to see if your system is actually giving users value before you put a gamification layer on top of it. If it's not then you should give that some thought first.
 
"I would also be cautious about prizes and acknowledgements. What you're doing is designing a game with extrinsic rewards, which are harder to sustain than intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards the same problem as pay increases or "expected" bonuses: they rapidly become just part of the status quo. If we must gamify, then as far as possible the activities should be intrinsically  rewarding."

Disagree. There seems to be a current orthodoxy that instrinsic = good and extrinsic = bad. In fact it's sometimes hard to peel the two apart. Have I become an expert in a domain because I find it intrinsically pleasing or because I like the status it gives me? Probably a bit of both. Leaderboards have an extrinsic element. As does the awarding of points. Going back to your earlier point about value not accruing to the individual, the whole issue that gamification attempts to tackle is that lots of the behaviours you want to drive are NOT intrinsicallty rewarding. IMHO the trick is to combine the extrinsic & intrinsic in an appealing package.
 
Many thanks,
 
Matt


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Matt,

On 10/05/2013 12:34 PM, Matt Moore wrote:
"I kind of disagree. I think an important use case for gamification is
where the value accrues to the organisation, not the individual. In
fact, isn't this kind of the point? To encourage things which aren't
naturally being done to get done?"

Not really sure what you're disagreeing with here. I didn't say that
that use cases shouldn't benefit the organisation (that's kind of
obvious). My point is that you should first check to see if your system
is actually giving users value before you put a gamification layer on
top of it. If it's not then you should give that some thought first.
What I meant was that there may not be "work-related value" to the people directly involved in the gamification. For example, let's say we gamify the capture of profile information of age, gender and ethnicity. There's no noticeable "work-related value" to the participating users, but it serves a purpose for HR, who need it for their organisation profile reports.

"I would also be cautious about prizes and acknowledgements. What you're
doing is designing a game with extrinsic rewards, which are harder to
sustain than intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards the same problem as
pay increases or "expected" bonuses: they rapidly become just part of
the status quo. If we must gamify, then as far as possible the
activities should be intrinsically rewarding."

Disagree. There seems to be a current orthodoxy that instrinsic = good
and extrinsic = bad. In fact it's sometimes hard to peel the two apart.
Have I become an expert in a domain because I find it intrinsically
pleasing or because I like the status it gives me? Probably a bit of
both. Leaderboards have an extrinsic element. As does the awarding of
points.
I wasn't trying to be that black and white about good vs bad. My point was that an extrinsic motivation will not inspire extraordinary effort in the longer term. It's like the "employee of the month" prize. The first time, it's a nice nod of acknowledgement. By the time everyone except the inanimate carbon rod has got one, there would be very few people still striving to be the one recognised.

Going back to your earlier point about value not accruing to the
individual, the whole issue that gamification attempts to tackle is that
lots of the behaviours you want to drive are NOT intrinsicallty
rewarding.
Yes, but the idea is to *make* the behaviours rewarding by adding an intrinsic reward, ie fun. If the game activity is not fun in and of itself, you're just replacing one kind of extrinsic reward with another.

(PS People aren't the same. Some find achieving on a leaderboard intrinsically rewarding. Many don't. Just one more difficulty of this kind of approach!)

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Stephen,

"What I meant was that there may not be "work-related value" to the people directly involved in the gamification. For example, let's say we 
gamify the capture of profile information of age, gender and ethnicity. 
There's no noticeable "work-related value" to the participating users, 
but it serves a purpose for HR, who need it for their organisation 
profile reports."

That's OK, we're talking about different things. Altho I would note that mostly HR asks for gender & age at point of recruitment and may be legally prevented from discussing ethnicity. It's more common to ask (& fail to get) information around skills and experience. The issue is that I as a profile owner don't necessarily benefit in the short term from expanding my profile. One possible solution is that to search the profiles of others, I need to have completed my own (altho that's obviously not without its flaws).

"I wasn't trying to be that black and white about good vs bad. My point 
was that an extrinsic motivation will not inspire extraordinary effort 
in the longer term. It's like the "employee of the month" prize. The 
first time, it's a nice nod of acknowledgement. By the time everyone 
except the inanimate carbon rod has got one, there would be very few 
people still striving to be the one recognised."

Yes. But. Sometimes you don't always need extraordinary effort in the long term. You sometimes need ordinary effort in the short term. Going to your profile example above, you may not need people to make an extraordinary effort around this. You need a significant number of people doing just enough. If you look at examples such as von Ahn's ESP game, it doesn't rely on people being extraordinary,it relies on a lot of people being mediocre - just engaged enough. Something like the Good Judgment Project is different again in that it is, in part, a tournament trying to find people who are extraordinary at something.

"Yes, but the idea is to *make* the behaviours rewarding by adding an intrinsic reward, ie fun."

1. Why is fun always intrinsic? Fun is personal but that's not the same as intrinsic. Fun as solving a puzzle for my own satisfaction is intrinsic. Fun as hearing a friend laugh at my joke isn't.

"If the game activity is not fun in and of itself, you're just replacing one kind of extrinsic reward with another."

And that's not necessarily a bad thing from an organisation's perspective if you're replacing an expensive extrinsic reward with a cheap one. Inputting data is not fun in and of itself, that's why you need something around it to bring the jollies. Or else you have to pay someone to interview all the staff and update the profiles - which is expensive.

Now going back to your profile example, if you're saying that just putting a gamification/pointsification layer with extrinsic motivation isn't sustainable over the long term then I'd probably agree. Which is why the system has to deliver work-related value to the participants. Or move towards automation of the boring stuff. You may be lucky enough to get some people internalising a love for the task you've presented them but don't count on it. In real life, people play games until they get bored of them. Then they stop. IMHO you have to prepare for this. The day may come when people stop caring about your points.

N.B. In general, intrinsic motivation gets me into work. But not every morning. Frankly, some days, if I wasn't getting paid, I'd go home. That may make me a terrible human being and I may be alone in that sentiment but it's true. I need a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to get me through the week.

BTW One thing that I was keen on in previous roles was not awarding superior KM engagement with money but with something knowledge-y (a course, a chance to work on an innovative project, etc). It somehow seemed more appropriate.

"(PS People aren't the same. Some find achieving on a leaderboard intrinsically rewarding. Many don't. Just one more difficulty of this 
kind of approach!)"

Another comment I'd probably agree with! And to be fair, also raised by APQC in their overview.


Cheers,

Matt


Stephen Bounds
 

Yep, agree with everything you wrote. We have pretty much the same viewpoint I think, but are coming at it from different angles.

(Well, except I do think we're using 'intrinsic' and 'extrinsic' slightly differently -- but not enough to matter.)

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 10/05/2013 10:02 PM, Matt Moore wrote:
Stephen,

"What I meant was that there may not be "work-related value" to
the people directly involved in the gamification. For example, let's say we
gamify the capture of profile information of age, gender and ethnicity.
There's no noticeable "work-related value" to the participating users,
but it serves a purpose for HR, who need it for their organisation
profile reports."

That's OK, we're talking about different things. Altho I would note that
mostly HR asks for gender & age at point of recruitment and may be
legally prevented from discussing ethnicity. It's more common to ask (&
fail to get) information around skills and experience. The issue is that
I as a profile owner don't necessarily benefit in the short term from
expanding my profile. One possible solution is that to search the
profiles of others, I need to have completed my own (altho that's
obviously not without its flaws).

"I wasn't trying to be that black and white about good vs bad. My point
was that an extrinsic motivation will not inspire extraordinary effort
in the longer term. It's like the "employee of the month" prize. The
first time, it's a nice nod of acknowledgement. By the time everyone
except the inanimate carbon rod has got one, there would be very few
people still striving to be the one recognised."

Yes. But. Sometimes you don't always need extraordinary effort in the
long term. You sometimes need ordinary effort in the short term. Going
to your profile example above, you may not need people to make an
extraordinary effort around this. You need a significant number of
people doing just enough. If you look at examples such as von Ahn's ESP
game, it doesn't rely on people being extraordinary,it relies on a lot
of people being mediocre - just engaged enough. Something like the Good
Judgment Project is different again in that it is, in part, a tournament
trying to find people who are extraordinary at something.

"Yes, but the idea is to *make* the behaviours rewarding by adding
an intrinsic reward, ie fun."

1. Why is fun always intrinsic? Fun is personal but that's not the same
as intrinsic. Fun as solving a puzzle for my own satisfaction is
intrinsic. Fun as hearing a friend laugh at my joke isn't.

"If the game activity is not fun in and of itself, you're just replacing
one kind of extrinsic reward with another."

And that's not necessarily a bad thing from an organisation's
perspective if you're replacing an expensive extrinsic reward with a
cheap one. Inputting data is not fun in and of itself, that's why you
need something around it to bring the jollies. Or else you have to pay
someone to interview all the staff and update the profiles - which is
expensive.

Now going back to your profile example, if you're saying that just
putting a gamification/pointsification layer with extrinsic motivation
isn't sustainable over the long term then I'd probably agree. Which is
why the system has to deliver work-related value to the participants. Or
move towards automation of the boring stuff. You may be lucky enough to
get some people internalising a love for the task you've presented them
but don't count on it. In real life, people play games until they get
bored of them. Then they stop. IMHO you have to prepare for this. The
day may come when people stop caring about your points.

N.B. In general, intrinsic motivation gets me into work. But not every
morning. Frankly, some days, if I wasn't getting paid, I'd go home. That
may make me a terrible human being and I may be alone in that sentiment
but it's true. I need a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to get
me through the week.

BTW One thing that I was keen on in previous roles was not awarding
superior KM engagement with money but with something knowledge-y (a
course, a chance to work on an innovative project, etc). It somehow
seemed more appropriate.

"(PS People aren't the same. Some find achieving on a
leaderboard intrinsically rewarding. Many don't. Just one more
difficulty of this
kind of approach!)"

Another comment I'd probably agree with! And to be fair, also raised by
APQC in their overview.

Cheers,

Matt


thomas.hsu@...
 

This is a topic I’m pretty passionate about – I presented on this with Steve Kaukonen at APQC. I highly recommend you listen to the recording if they make it available – I think the slides already are.

 

Gamification works – both in the short term and long term – *if designed properly*. Why does it work? Science. Science is the secret sauce of gamification. Let’s put the word “gamification” aside and talk about what’s behind the curtain – motivation design, user engagement, behavioral economics, habit formation, neuroscience, etc. Gamification works because of the way our brains are wired. The exciting thing is that the book is still being written, and we live in a golden age of behavioral research where we’re learning new things about how our brains are working all the time. Game designers, in particular, have been extremely good at figuring out how to make things fun, addictive and engaging – and gamification is about harnessing that to engage people and solve problems.

 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but there seems to be a misconception that gamification is ultimately about incentives and rewards, and that it’s only effective it if’s tied to pay and promotion. Gamification is so much more complex than that. There are many other forms of extrinsic motivation besides pay and promotion that are often more meaningful. As already mentioned, there is also intrinsic motivation as well – we are more than rats in a maze. This is similar to the misconception that gamification has to include a competition – cooperation and social connectedness is often a much more powerful motivator.

 

I agree 100% with many of the points – gamification is NOT a silver bullet. Sponsorship is critical to success of any cultural change. Tying all of this into performance management is important. KM must offer value to have long term success. Well-designed gamification draws you in initially, but then helps you quickly build mastery so you start to realize the value and intrinsic rewards in collaboration and develop the right habits. That’s when you get sustained behavior change.

 

Gamification is not easy. It can work, but it should not be taken lightly, and it should be viewed within the proper context.

 



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Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Thomas,

Thanks for contributing - do you have a link to your APQC slides? I actually agree with a lot of what you're saying. Is the Accenture example in the APQC Gamification in KM pack?

"Gamification works – both in the short term and long term – *if designed properly*. Why does it work? Science. Science is the secret sauce of gamification. Let’s put the word “gamification” aside and talk about what’s behind the curtain – motivation design, user engagement, behavioral economics, habit formation, neuroscience, etc."

The basis of science is a method where you make hypotheses and then test them. What I've found a bit frustrating about the gamification thing is the lack of empirical research about what works & doesn't work in organisations (rather than, say, the lab studies loved by behavioural economists). From my perspective, gamification is at the top of the hype cycle and we need to get this empirical understanding quickly or the fall into the trough of disillusion will be a hard one. N.B. The "what doesn't work" part is as important as success stories.

It's also interesting to see that several game designers have been critical of the gamification movement as taking their thing & making lame stuff from it.

"Correct me if I’m wrong, but there seems to be a misconception that gamification is ultimately about incentives and rewards, and that it’s only effective it if’s tied to pay and promotion."

There is that general impression. Most gamification efforts seem to focus on points (pointsification) and leaderboards. People need examples that do more than that to understand the possibilities. And, again, to be fair to APQC, some of their case studies do that.

As for the comments about pay & rewards, my point would be slightly different. It's that our organisations are already gamified so you are not working in a greenfield site. Games you develop have to take account of this. But that doesn't mean there has to be a direct link to, say, pay for everything you do.

"Gamification is so much more complex than that. There are many other forms of extrinsic motivation besides pay and promotion that are often more meaningful. As already mentioned, there is also intrinsic motivation as well – we are more than rats in a maze. This is similar to the misconception that gamification has to include a competition – cooperation and social connectedness is often a much more powerful motivator."

This I agree with very strongly. And I've had some long arguments about this with people. Coincidentally (or not) those of us who argued that collaboration had role to play were from a KM background.

 "I agree 100% with many of the points – gamification is NOT a silver bullet. Sponsorship is critical to success of any cultural change. Tying all of this into performance management is important. KM must offer value to have long term success. Well-designed gamification draws you in initially, but then helps you quickly build mastery so you start to realize the value and intrinsic rewards in collaboration and develop the right habits. That’s when you get sustained behavior change."

Nothing to disagree with there.

Many thanks,

Matt Moore


Tom Short <tman9999@...>
 

Here is a nice writeup about an enterprise gamifying a marketing-related activity - and the great thing is, they don't even consider it gamification.

No points, no leaderboards - just solid implementation of game-based design principles in a non-game situation. The aim is to harness existing employee motivation, and provide some additional incentive for them to do what they were inclined to do anyways. The result is a more sustainable, and possibly farther reaching, effort to engage the employees in supporting the brand building activities. For my money this is the real stuff.
http://www.informationweek.com/social-business/news/social_networking_consumer/pepsico-makes-employees-social-ambassado/232500250


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Tom,

I appreciate the link to the post, but fail to see how it's a "gamified" activity? It seems a pretty straightforward example of encouraging and empowering staff to be proud of the place they work to me...

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 11/05/2013 9:36 AM, Tom Short wrote:
Here is a nice writeup about an enterprise gamifying a marketing-related
activity - and the great thing is, they don't even consider it
gamification.

No points, no leaderboards - just solid implementation of game-based
design principles in a non-game situation. The aim is to harness
existing employee motivation, and provide some additional incentive for
them to do what they were inclined to do anyways. The result is a more
sustainable, and possibly farther reaching, effort to engage the
employees in supporting the brand building activities. For my money this
is the real stuff.
http://www.informationweek.com/social-business/news/social_networking_consumer/pepsico-makes-employees-social-ambassado/232500250


Tom Short <tman9999@...>
 

Correction: *is a non-game context

BTW, for one of my favorite examples of gamification that illustrates the above points, check out this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SByymar3bds

Clearly a non-game context, willing partipants, a defined game space (the stairs), and 'rules' (the notes are arranged the same way as a keyboard, so to make a tune you have to know how to play; and you have to take the stairs to play). And a reward.

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, Tom <tman9999@...> wrote:
The question is what constitutes 'game-based design principles', and that is a fair question. As for the non-game context, I think it's pretty clear, as you point out, that the Pepsico example is not a non-game context.


Tom <tman9999@...>
 

Hi Stephen - based on the research I've done on this topic this example fits well the definition of gamification: using game-based design principles in non-game contexts.

The question is what constitutes 'game-based design principles', and that is a fair question. As for the non-game context, I think it's pretty clear, as you point out, that the Pepsico example is not a non-game context.

In Kevin Wehrbach's Coursera course on gamification he discusses the game-based design principles that can be leveraged when looking at gamification in the workplace.

The traditional game elements that first come to mind for many people are points, a leaderboard, status levels, and badges (PBLS). While these are certainly legitimate, and have been the focus of business use of gamification for the companies catering to the social media crowd (eg, Bunchball, Badgeville, others), there are game design elements beyond these, that can be leveraged as well, that don't require a social media platform to use them on (necessarily).

Some of these include a defined game space, rules, and willing acceptance of both by the participants. In other words, the participants have to be voluntary, not conscripted. Thinking about gamification using these elements requires a good deal of abstraction away from the PBLS that first come to mind when the word 'gamification' is uttered. Which is unfortunate, because it is already resulting in a lot of wrong-headed efforts that are bound to fail (Gartner reckons 70% or more of the gamification efforts companies have embarked on will fail, in fact).

So, with that in mind, the other key ingredient, beyond identifying the game space and rules, is coming up with an actual 'game' that would be interesting enough to the 'players' (ie employees), such that they would become willing participants in it.

As we know, sustainable behavior change is generally not easy to affect in the workplace at scale, so the obvious place to look is where there is already a behavior type occuring, that is seen to be beneficial by the business, which could be extended through the use of gamification.

In this case, Pepsi saw that employees were already interested in blogging about their brand out of a sense of pride. The brilliance of this case example is that rather than try to control it, and tamp down the enthusiasm that was clearly evident here, they decided to harness it, by creating a game space, rules, and rewards for 'winning.' The game space was blogging for public consumption; the rules were, the blogs would be subject to a review, and the ones that were deemed appropriate for external publication would be published; and the reward for winning was being able to point your friends, family members and colleagues to your blog post out on the public web.

This is simple, elegant, and subtle- but it does fit the definition of gamification. For my money, efforts like this are much more sustainable over the long term, and can generate powerful results for enterprises.

So - is this really anything dramatically new? Well, maybe not. It's more of a new way of thinking about things that we've been doing all along, that results in a reframing of how we view those things. The result is we become more focused on identifying other opportunities that fit that new frame, and thus become more deliberate about how we identify and evaluate them, and do something about them. Remind you of anything else this group has talked about?? :-) Knowledge management, anyone?

- Tom


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Tom,

I completely agree that we shouldn't fall into the trap of saying "X is a game, therefore all games must be X". And the definition of a game is notoriously slippery. On the other hand, most people agree that games consist of some or all of:

- defined goals
- defined rules
- challenge (self-imposed, or mutually agreed), and
- interaction

The question is - what is the minimum number of these which must be present to qualify as a game? Intuitively I feel that we must have at least *two*, because any single factor could simply be described as "life".

Therefore I have a couple of quibbles. Firstly, the PepsiCo approach wasn't described in the article as "self-blogging", but more a scrapbook approach of cutting and pasting pre-approved articles. Also, there was no approval of these scrapbooks; the approval happened earlier at the individual article stage. So *as described* this won't meet the test of being a game, since there aren't rules, challenge or defined goals. It's just a tool that can be used.

Now, you seem to be saying that the existence of this framework allowed employees to participate in a game to get their articles published. But this appears to be "gaming the system" (an unintentional side-effect) rather than an intentional effort by Pepsi to promote this behaviour.

Which kind of raises the point: if employees are creating games in *response* to your management activities, is that still gamification? I would argue not.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@knowquestion.com.au
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 12/05/2013 1:07 AM, Tom wrote:
Hi Stephen - based on the research I've done on this topic this example
fits well the definition of gamification: using game-based design
principles in non-game contexts.

The question is what constitutes 'game-based design principles', and
that is a fair question. As for the non-game context, I think it's
pretty clear, as you point out, that the Pepsico example is not a
non-game context.

In Kevin Wehrbach's Coursera course on gamification he discusses the
game-based design principles that can be leveraged when looking at
gamification in the workplace.

The traditional game elements that first come to mind for many people
are points, a leaderboard, status levels, and badges (PBLS). While these
are certainly legitimate, and have been the focus of business use of
gamification for the companies catering to the social media crowd (eg,
Bunchball, Badgeville, others), there are game design elements beyond
these, that can be leveraged as well, that don't require a social media
platform to use them on (necessarily).

Some of these include a defined game space, rules, and willing
acceptance of both by the participants. In other words, the participants
have to be voluntary, not conscripted. Thinking about gamification using
these elements requires a good deal of abstraction away from the PBLS
that first come to mind when the word 'gamification' is uttered. Which
is unfortunate, because it is already resulting in a lot of wrong-headed
efforts that are bound to fail (Gartner reckons 70% or more of the
gamification efforts companies have embarked on will fail, in fact).

So, with that in mind, the other key ingredient, beyond identifying the
game space and rules, is coming up with an actual 'game' that would be
interesting enough to the 'players' (ie employees), such that they would
become willing participants in it.

As we know, sustainable behavior change is generally not easy to affect
in the workplace at scale, so the obvious place to look is where there
is already a behavior type occuring, that is seen to be beneficial by
the business, which could be extended through the use of gamification.

In this case, Pepsi saw that employees were already interested in
blogging about their brand out of a sense of pride. The brilliance of
this case example is that rather than try to control it, and tamp down
the enthusiasm that was clearly evident here, they decided to harness
it, by creating a game space, rules, and rewards for 'winning.' The game
space was blogging for public consumption; the rules were, the blogs
would be subject to a review, and the ones that were deemed appropriate
for external publication would be published; and the reward for winning
was being able to point your friends, family members and colleagues to
your blog post out on the public web.

This is simple, elegant, and subtle- but it does fit the definition of
gamification. For my money, efforts like this are much more sustainable
over the long term, and can generate powerful results for enterprises.

So - is this really anything dramatically new? Well, maybe not. It's
more of a new way of thinking about things that we've been doing all
along, that results in a reframing of how we view those things. The
result is we become more focused on identifying other opportunities that
fit that new frame, and thus become more deliberate about how we
identify and evaluate them, and do something about them. Remind you of
anything else this group has talked about?? :-) Knowledge management,
anyone?

- Tom