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The Phenomena of Gamification – The Next Big Thing for Employers? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Cowie   
Monday, 23 September 2013 01:00

Gamification is the application of game-like elements to real-world tasks. The term “Gamification,” however, may be misleading as one may correlate it simply to playing video games. As Kris Duggan, founder of leading Gamification company Badgeville, explains, at a practical level Gamification involves “taking the techniques that make games fun and addictive and using them to motivate human behavior in a digital context.”1) Thus, Gamification is used to increase user engagement, loyalty and participation, or to change behavior with the purpose of obtaining superior results. Indeed, Gamification has been used for endless business purposes to “solve” problems or improve outcomes, including externally (to obtain/retain customers) and internally (to motivate/engage employees of all levels). Unsurprisingly, Gamification is making its way into the workplace, with employers using game mechanics to track and manage performance, increase efficiency, reward productive employees and, ultimately, justify terminations. Duggan works with many employers and believes “Gamification in the workplace is set to explode over the next few years because employers can use Gamification to incentivize employees by establishing clear goals and rewarding those employees that achieve those goals.”2)

According to Gartner, a tech-industry research firm, by 2014, 70 percent of Global 2000 businesses will manage at least one “Gamified” application or system.3) Analysts also predict that Gamification will be in 25 percent of redesigned business processes by 2015.4) One reason for this predicted increase is because early examples of Gamification have proven to be very effective.  For example, in a software trial case study of Autodesk® 3ds Max®, 3D design software for games, film and motion graphics artists, software trial usage increased by 40 percent after allowing participants of the trial to compete against peers to earn points.5) Top performers won an Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite free of charge. Even before the term “Gamification” came into common use, other fields regularly utilized its elements, the most basic of which are the frequent-flyer programs pioneered by Texas International Airlines (now Continental Airlines) in 1979.6)

Enterprise Gamification Newsletter - September 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mario Herger   
Saturday, 31 August 2013 04:14

Angry Birds Star Wars 2Dear fellow Gamificator!

Have you ever driven on the same day the two hottest cars on the planet that do not contribute to global warming? I have, as I had the pleasure to drive a Tesla Roadster and a Tesla Model S (Tesla - that company's manufacturing the most advanced, best and coolest looking electric vehicles - was started by Space X and Paypal founder Elon Musk) for a new TV science and technology magazine for Red Bull TV (yes, they do own TV channels as well). For that documentary we had a TV crew here in the Silicon Valley and I had the honor to be their guide and visit the NASA, Google, Facebook, SAP, and a real garage startup. I put some pictures on Facebook, check them out: The Tesla & NASA shots and the garage startup.

As soon as the show airs (scheduled for October 15th, later globally) and I have the link, I'll make sure to share it.

While I was excited about that, my son can't barely wait anymore for the new Angry Birds Star Wars II release. And you know what? They come now with these figurines, that you put on the iPad like the game Skylander has pioneered. Check out the trailer video and give me support that I can withstand my sons questions about "When's the new Angry Bird here?" for another three weeks.

Mashing Pinterest With A Financial Services Platform PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mario Herger   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 19:19

MyFinancialsTypical financial services platforms such as e-Trade, Charles Schwab, or Ameritrade offer a lot of value to manage your financial investments. With charts, tickers, and news about the markets savvy financial investors can manage and monitor their wealth through a variety of sophisticated tools. This has been a boon for investors but turns into a big hurdle for the less financially savvy amongst us. As it turns out, 80% of the users of such platforms are men. This does not represent the income distribution in modern countries. At the same time the strength of these platforms is their biggest weakness.

Those platforms typically offer a very technical look at investing and saving. The focus is on the financial institutions such as stock exchanges and banks, financial instruments such as CDs, bonds, savings accounts, mixed with a lot of three- to four letter acronyms, numbers, rates and historic charts. This is intimidating for the uninitiated. Instead of coming from a "technical perspective," in a recent customer project, we turned the angle around and look from a story perspective.

The first change is that not the stock exchange of the financial services instrument is in the focus, but rather the financial goal that an average investor has. And with investor we mean everyone who has a financial goal to reach. Such a financial goal can be saving for retirement, saving for the first hours, or the big dream wedding.

Gamification - The path to employees engagement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gal Rimon   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 06:38
In today's business environment, managers are constantly pressed to produce results, usually through industry-specified KPIs - setting challenging targets to be achieved on a day-to-day basis. Methodologies, such as MBO (management by objectives) and CPM (corporate performance management) aim to align the managers with their business’s goals. Targets are set and feedback is collected through scorecards and dashboards. 

Stemming from the line of thought that "you can only manage what you measure" and "what gets measured gets done", managers are put in the position of not only constantly evaluating their employees, but also being appraised themselves.

There is a strong correlation between a successful company and an effective goal setting process.
Gamification Modeling Language (GaML) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Philipp Herzig   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 14:44

GaML exampleIntroduction and Key Pain Points

Gamification has become a trend over the last years, especially in non-game environments such as business systems. With the aim to increase the users' engagement and motivation, existing or new information systems are enriched with game design elements. Before the technical implementation, the gamification concept is created. However, this creation of the gamification is an informal process, i.e., the definition and exchange on game mechanics is done in natural language or using spreadsheets. Therefore, the specification is an error-prone task. This becomes especially relevant, if the gamification concept is handed over into the implementation phase and IT-experts have to translate the informal concept into formal concepts. Therefore, we propose a novel, declarative, and formal domain-specific language to define gamification concepts. Besides that the language is designed to be readable and partially writeable by domain experts, the language is automatically compilable into gamification platforms (e.g., Bunchball, Badgeville, SAP Gamification Platform) without involving IT-experts.

GaML basically addresses three key pain points:

First, a mechanism for the precise definition of gamification concepts is missing. Currently, gamification concepts are discussed in natural language transported through natural text, spreadsheets, or presentations. Since gamification is an inter-disciplinary method, we argue that this makes interchange and discussion of complex game mechanics between experts of different domains complicated, especially in business environments. Furthermore, it hardly allows the exchange on game mechanics on a rigorous, formal level between researchers, for example, in discussions, related work, or meta-reviews. Ultimately, handing the concept over to an IT-expert for the implementation phase of the concept is an error-prone task.

Second, the implementation of the gamification concept within an information system is an expensive task with regards to development efforts. At the same time, the benefits for gamification are difficult to guarantee and to measure which makes the entire project a risky undertaking. Gamification platforms emerged on the market to reduce this risk and effort. However, all available platforms focus on very simple game mechanisms and are therefore not suitable for implementing sophisticated concepts. Due to these limitations, platforms dictate the conception phase of the gamification concept to some degree since they impose their particular language on the concept. This results in a tight coupling of concept and requirements with the underlying technology which has to be avoided in enterprise settings.

Third, even if the underlying technology may support complex gamification scenarios, the implementation becomes difficult as well since deep IT-knowledge is required. Hence, it is not possible for domain experts anymore to precisely describe or maintain the gamification concept along its life-cycle.

5 Steps to Gamification At Work PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janaki Mythily Kumar   
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:00
Player Centered DesignGamification is the application of game design principles to non-game environments. It is not about designing games, but learning from them and applying the insights into other areas. Gamification motivates players to engage in desired behaviors by showing them the path to mastery. It attempts to make technology and business more inviting by taking advantage of people’s innate enjoyment of play.

The Buzz around Gamification

There have been several articles about Gamification in popular business journals. To name a few, Forbes ran an article titled Gamification Gets Down to Business in Sept 2011, and The Wall Street Journal’s article Latest Game Theory: Mixing Work and Play was in an October 2011 issue.

In November 2012, Gartner published a report on Gamification. In it they had both a positive and negative prediction with regard to gamification. The positive prediction was that “by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations”. The negative prediction was that “by 2014, 80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives, primarily due to poor design.” How we avoid being part of the 80%?

Player Centered Design

To increase the chance of success of your gamification efforts, we recommend this five-step process we call Player Centered Design. It is based on a well-established design methodology called UCD (User Centered Design), but goes beyond UCD to enable meaningful engagement and behavior change.
Gamification of Events PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Regis   
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 20:29

InnojamThis report provides analysis of and recommendations for gamification techniques that could be used at future SAP Innojam events, a series of hackathons that business software maker SAP organizes. This research was conducted over a period of four weeks with an approximate schedule of one week each to understand Innojam, understand the target attendees, research gamification techniques, and synthesize results. Methods of analysis for this research include primary research (interviews/surveys) and secondary research (Internet, books, and internal documents). The target attendees for Innojam have been identified as developers both in and out of the SAP community. 

The main takeway from this research is that developers are uninterested in gamification of hackathons if it takes time away from the coding time available at the event. More importantly, this report assumes that the most appropriate way to gamify the Innojam event is to ensure that the elements of gamifcation introduced are seamlessly integrated into the overall event. Furthermore, in addition to coding, the primary motivations for developers to attend hackathon events such as Innojam are to increase mastery of developer skills and network with their peers. 

Research into types of gamification strategies appropriate for Innojam include profile creation, badges/points, codebreakers, jeopardy and video game consoles. Additional consideration was given to event gamification applications such as Eventmobi, SCVNGR, Memecube, and RedCritter Tracker which have already been offered at other events.

FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (Gamification of Events - Presentation.pptx)Gamification of Events (PowerPoint) 450 Kb
Download this file (SAP - Final Paper - Gamification of Innojam.docx)Gamification of Events (Word) 101 Kb
Machinations Modeling Tool for Gamification Design PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ander Dobo   
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 19:57

Machinations ModelMachinations is a visual modeling framework developed by Joris Dormans, a Dutch game designer for design and simulation of game mechanics. It facilitates the design, simulation and testing of the internal economy of a game at various levels of abstraction, using a Flash-based tool developed for the purpose. Machinations diagrams are made up of visual representations of various elements of a game economy, as described in the book Fundamentals of Game Design by Ernest Adams and the interactions between them in a structured syntax.

In partnership with Mario Herger, a leading enterprise gamification expert and Senior Innovation Strategist at SAP, and as my Service Innovation course project, we set out to explore application of the framework and use of the tool in the field of gamification. The broad objectives of the study were:

  • Determine how applicable Machinations is in its current form, to gamification design.
  • Develop Machinations models of specific gamified platforms or events, as well as emergent gamification mechanics patterns.
  • Channel our learnings into developing a how-to-paper for use of Machinations by a gamification designer.
  • Establish interaction with Joris Dormans to co-create our adaptation of Machinations for gamification.

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