Key components of a successful gamification strategy

Gartner predicts that 80% of the gamification products will fail due to bad design. Hence there is a high risk of failure for the first gamification product a company ever develops.

GamificationExperimenting on a non-core area is recommended while introducing gamification, especially when the organization is not social-computing-friendly. A change in management processes is essential before fully embracing gamification strategies.

Co-creation with a customer is another safe mode of development. This lessens the risk of failures because the investment is made though a different organization.

Start with the end in mind. Every gamification component should be integrated to the common user journey without limiting to independent silos. The objective of gamification should be to solve a specific business problem. One such example is to connect game mechanics like ranks and achievements with performance appraisals which will drive the employees to engage more on the system and also provide a higher value for it.

Once a business problem is identified and reward strategy defined, the next step should be to create progression through the game design model. This includes consistently providing challenges to the users without leading to boredom. A successful strategy is one that keeps improving the users’ skill levels and increases the challenges.

Also the strategy should evolve with the user input. It should create levels or stages to identify the different level of skills that the employees showcase. The right measurements of such systems comes though the actual user inputs after running the system for a while. Hence it’s important to analyze data before defining measurements.

Lastly, it is all about the spectators. Winning is no fun when there is no spectators to cheer. Successful game strategy should include a social platform where achievements can be recognized in front of colleagues. Ability to show achievements in personal profiles, share on social space for others to like and comment are akin to having a stadium full of spectators.

Madu Ratnayake

Executive Vice President and Head of Digital, Virtusa. Madu is responsible for Virtusa’s digital business strategy where he focuses on pioneering social enablement of core business processes to transform the way Virtusans work, learn, share and connect with each other and with clients. He heads the IT, Enterprise Applications, and Quality & Process groups at Virtusa. Madu also heads Virtusa Sri Lanka operations. Madu is the Chairman of Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) and Sarvodaya Fusion, the ICT4D arm of Sarvodaya, the largest NGO in Sri Lanka; and Co-chairman of the National Council on ICT and Space Technology for The Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) in Sri Lanka. He is also a member of the advisory board for ICT at the Export Development Board (EDB) and represents the IT industry on the boards of several leading universities. He is a Charted Engineer, Certified Gamification Master and holds an MBA and a First Class Honors Degree in Software Engineering.

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