In gamification design, we always start with strategic questions first. Often that is part one of the project and in some cases also where it finishes. The reasons can vary, sometimes it has unlocked questions at senior levels that hadn’t been considered before, other times people didn’t understand that rolling out gamification also by default means a behaviour change process. In corporate circles, the latter aka changing the status quo scares the hell out of people.
On a few occasions, the strategy work identifies other parts to be of higher priority. Often the people that were responsible for starting the project are no longer the people that finish the project, they may have moved on or their expertise is not the most relevant for the implementation step. In one or two situations budget or IT reasons were the cause of non-implementation. By engaging IT from the start, you can often find ways around the problems.
Top tips on moving on with your gamification strategy implementation
Here are our top tips to keep things moving towards implementation:
- Run one pilot roll-out
The scariest step is the first one, in any new implementation. Moving forward with a strategy towards implementation in most cases takes a leap of faith. To mitigate big risks, the first step can simply be to run a pilot trial with one team, one department, one region, one course or one product line. It is prudent to set up a pilot in my view, with clear success measures and a set timeframe so that you can then move forward towards complete roll-out afterwards. Pick a team or area that is representative of the wider group and start there. When you have a well-working pilot in that area, then move forward one team or region or product line at a time.
2. Gain buy-in and ownership through co-creation
It is very hard to stop a moving train. By engaging your target audience from the outset in your strategy design even, you build an expectation and the start of momentum. What I have found in over 15 years in change management that people when consulted about what the future of their organisation looks like, will also want to remain involved long term. When in our gamification design workshops, people get actively involved in creating new tools. As soon as they are co-creating, they also develop a sense of ownership. In change management theory moving people from buy-in to ownership is key to igniting a clear movement towards a goal.
3. Gamify the implementation process
I am assuming that you have at this stage bought into gamification and how it can work. It then shouldn’t come as a big surprise to have the suggestion of gamifying the implementation process. Each early step forward should trigger some encouragement to keep moving. Once movement and momentum are established the trigger becomes more focused on regular progress towards the goal. Having visuals to go with this whether it is growing from seed to full-grown plant with flowers or a planet populating with nurturing as a key activity to make plants blossom.
Remember that change is never popular, even when it is desired by many and bringing people along one step at a time is key to making it work.