How gamification makes projects more engaging

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

It doesn’t matter how much time you put into your powerpoint presentation or carefully-drafted email, your team still might be more likely to open a game on their phone or start scrolling through Facebook than pay attention.

Gamification makes your projects more engaging by applying elements of game playing like point scoring, competition, and rules, to your projects. But it doesn’t mean you need to start handing out tubs of playdough at every meeting.

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks to Elizabeth Harrin about why people shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss gamification and how it can drastically improve your stakeholder engagement.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • In project management, gamification is taking the techniques and mechanics of games that get people engaged and applying them to projects.
  • The more engaged the team is, the better they work and the faster they deliver the project.
  • There are five principles of game mechanics that apply to projects and stakeholder engagement
    • Tracking your steps – consider using a visual road map like a game chart for the project. This could mean using page numbers on powerpoint presentations, so people don’t get lost and fall asleep, or sending weekly countdown emails.
    • Small steps first – Don’t ask for a big task first, instead get the team engaged with a small, manageable task to get them hooked.
    • Create feedback loops – provide feedback on how the team is doing by telling them when they have completed a task well or providing visual clues that they passed another level.
    • Keep communication simple – give one piece of information at a time, kind of like a tutorial.
    • Celebrate successes – consider where you can acknowledge good work, perhaps with point scoring or prizes.
  • Project managers should have confidence in their judgement and be supported to do things differently and break the rules.
  • Being adaptive and flexible allows you to do more of what works for your team and avoid getting beaten down by process.

About Elizabeth Harrin:

Elizabeth Harrin is a project manager and author based in the UK. She writes the award-winning blog, A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, and has written several project management books including Collaboration Tools for Project Managers. She has a new book out in 2020 on the topic of stakeholder engagement… watch this space! Elizabeth’s professional experience is in healthcare, IT and financial services.

You can connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn