7 years, 5 months ago

Gamification is Central to Social

Years ago when I was in school, I asked my business professor to share a bit of advice that he had found invaluable throughout the years. He offered me a simple quote, “Keeping score, improves the score.”

I cannot count the number of times I’ve been reminded of that bit of advice. The idea of knowing what you are doing, how well you are doing, and how well others are doing the same thing, touches on both our business and our personal lives. Anyone making an effort to be more competitive, more productive, or more efficient can benefit from “the score.”

As we all saw in the recent Super Bowl, the score was motivating actions of all-star players until the very last seconds of their performance. But the players were not the only ones motivated.  The score also motivated the coaches to architect new plays and game-winning strategies. The fans were motivated to cheer on their favorite players, encouraging them to improve the score. For everyone at the game, knowing the score helped them improve the fight, strategize, or cheer to improve the score. There is no doubt that Football is a ”social” game where the interactions of many can change the outcome.

Now, let’s turn to business. One of our account executives in the UK frequently tells a story  about one of our  large insurance clients. The client installed wide screen displays in all of their offices — not to watch the latest football matches – but to keep score within their business so that every day they would know:

  • How many transactions that day required processing
  • How many transactions were in progress
  • How many transactions had  been completed
  • How many transitions were at risk of being late

These monitors were showing everyone “the score” of the day’s activities.  The data reflecting the current state of the business was not shared by a select few, but by the masses. Having that information available helped motivate people to work not only faster, but smarter. If a deadline was at risk, the team huddled to figure out the best way to mitigate the delay. If the team was exceeding performance expectations, people could feel the buzz of excitement in the office.

This is just one way business process performance metrics of our solutions are being used in a social sense to motivate actions and interactions. It is a simple example of how gamification is being introduced in the work place.

This leads me to think about some of the great new social business process management (BPM) technologies OpenText is rolling out. Recent attendees at the OpenText BPM Summit last fall and those planning to attend our spring events (e.g., regional BPS Live! meetings and Gartner’s BPM Summit) saw or will see our new social server technology. This technology allows people to interact with one another in new, non-programmatic ways around a process and its outcome. The premise of the technology is simple in that “none of us is as smart as all of us.”

Using the technology in the context of business process management will allow our clients to interact with their colleagues as well as partners, customers, or constituents to speed and improve the outcome of an effort.  Coupling the social server technology with the performance metrics above moves us another step closer to bringing gamification concepts into our business process solutions. By knowing the score, participants will seek to improve the score. By seeking to improve the score, participants will encourage the talent, experience and know-how of others to influence outcomes for their business.

If you would like to read more about gamification entering the world of business applications, I encourage you to read the recent article in Forbes by Haydn Shaughnessy, called “The Day I Knew Gamification Would be a Winner.”  I would also encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments area below about how gamification of business process solutions could change your business’ score.

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