Leveling, point-tracking, and bonuses can recognize and reward desired activity. Leaderboards and progression indicators can steer individuals to the next tier of personal and business performance. Quests and countdowns can shape behavior. It’s all part of gamification, and it’s having a real impact on businesses worldwide. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.
Gamification can instill challenge, pay-off, and new perspective into day-to-day tasks, tapping into the same human instincts that have led to centuries of passionate competition and engagement – our innate desire to learn, to improve ourselves, to overcome obstacles, and to win. As business becomes increasingly social, our professional and consumer lives are being built using digital interactions. This momentum can be tapped to improve performance by embedding gaming mechanics into traditional processes.
Increasing individual engagement in work, team, and outcomes is a common business goal, and games have proven to be one of the most influential teaming and communication activities across generations and cultures. Organizations can harness gaming principles to improve morale, influence behavior, and get stakeholders passionately engaged in everything from finance, sales, HR, manufacturing, and more.
Gamification and Enterprise Architecture
From my perspective the work which I like to do and excel in is, Enterprise Architecture. It’s a practice which has to be adopted by the whole organization to steer its state for future success. This success from EA point of view is deep rooted within the holistic collaboration of the whole enterprise, which includes not just the organization but players beyond its boundaries such as partners, suppliers, vendors, market e.t.c.
The composite consolidation of the knowledge which each player has, is what shapes an Enterprise and how it performs within a global space. The more closely this collaboration is integrated the better results an Enterprise bears. In the gamification method, every player from all vertical and horizontals of the business, have the opportunity on hand to share their knowledge and propose design of the overall organization/enterprise from their point of view. As a result organizations has a potential to enhance their outputs incrementally.
In the world of EA, the fundamental work depends on sound building blocks of and organization. These building blocks if I may sound deviated for the actual practice, are mix of People, process, technology and information, which an organization owns as its most important assets. So if we agree on the above the proposal ahead of embedding gamification into EA practice, can play a major role into future EA works.
How to Gamify Enterprise Architecture?
In an organization where EA practice is being followed, it can be understood that environment for EA is already set and it has been institutionalized to most if not all the workers. But yet it is also a fact that EA work done in a traditional manner, does not excites the organization as a whole and only certain % of the staff may really understand it, even if it is on a conceptual level.
EA does loose some immense amount of opportunities in order not to gain interest of the organization holistically. Although every organization has people from top till bottom who have a great deal of organization’s business understanding and can be the best inputs for developing enterprise architecture. Through gamifying the work of EA, I believe, 75% of such workforce can be targeted, who have the knowledge but are not willing to share with others for any reason which may be frustration at work or dissatisfaction with the management.
In such conditions an app “Enterprise Architecture Canvas” has the potential to be developed and rolled out throughout the whole organization. The purpose of this app should be to entice those business champions, who are in the organization but are not been consulted or given a chance to share their ideas.
The propose architecture of such app, should be visual working space for all the employees, where they can utilize the EA repository artifacts to innovate new or enhanced way of business operations. This app should have four different business canvases, which are built on the four building blocks of the organization, namely ; people, process, technology and information.
Now the app should be designed in such a way, that every employee should feel that he is an architect of business himself. Using the four canvases, he can pick different artifacts, link them and create a view out of them. To make things more interesting for employees, the app should give some basic to complex business problems to be solved. And for each good solution, the employee should be rewarded with some excellence points. The purpose of the points is to motivate employees to take up challenges for which they have their own solution by using the EA repository artifacts. With each problem solved, employees should be taken to next level of challenge based on their past progress in the app.
The interesting thing of this design is that not that only employees will start sharing their ideas but they will also start gaining problem solving skills in a fun way. The byproduct of this design is that organization will also start getting introduction to their employees in a manner which they have never seen before. The best solution solver employees should then be appreciated as most skilled workers, while the organization gets a better visibility on who can be the best leaders in the future. The takeaway for EA from all this, is an architecture development solely based on the collaboration of organization’s workforce. All the solutions can be assessed for best fit in the architecture and then can accordingly added to the baseline architecture or even to the future state architecture. Architects will get the best outputs from the employees and management gets best solutions to take decisions for future investments.
Although, the gamification industry is yet to make a big mark in the market but the innovative organizations have already implemented this concept to get the best out of their workforce. It is very important that it’s not just the design of this app which has to be perfect but all the surrounding formalities are equally important, such as gaining buy-in from top management, trainings on the app, motivation circulars to gain employees interest e.t.c.
In a world where creative and innovative tasks are becoming an increasingly greater part of the world economy, it seems the archaic carrot and stick tools of motivation used throughout the Industrial Revolution are un-evolved tactics that fail to truly engage the modern day individual. So to get your resources engaged, one should make and engaging environment, which must in all cases, should make the engagement fun and rewarding!