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Jul 17, 2013 by Vanessa Fiorido in PM Best Practices & News

Gamify Your Project

Gamify Your Projects

Gamification, the practice of turning daily tasks and processes into games, is taking the business world by storm. And for good reason. Operating under the idea that everything is more fun as a game, gamification is a newly popular tactic that marketing teams use to improve consumer engagement, and teachers implement to inspire student learning.

But there is no reason project teams should be left out of all the fun. If you want to incentivize good work, improve employee engagement, and increase team motivation, gamify your project with these 3 project management gamification techniques.

1. Trade Project Points for Prizes

Get everyone’s blood flowing by making every project task into a competition with prizes. Award points for completing project tasks, fixing software bugs, and filing important documents. Bigger tasks and project milestones garner more points, but award points for any action you deem beneficial to the success of the project or that add to the happiness of the project team. One point to the person who does the office dishes? Why not.

Poll all team members at the beginning of a project and devise a list of prizes. The rewards don’t need to be expensive; maybe 10 points and the recipient gets free coffee and can wear jeans on Friday. Maybe the team member with the most points at the end of the year gets a free vacation, or tickets to a NHL game. Either way competitions add some fun to the day, and garners motivation for more monotonous tasks.

2. Offer “Level-Up” Promotions

Demystify the promotion process by outlining the steps that must be completed in order to reach the next level in the person’s career. What must an associate do to turn into a manager? How does someone become a project lead? Update and review your project member’s progress and offer measurable metrics to quantify performance.

Employees can’t reach for the stars if they don’t know in which constellation the stars are found. With easy to define metrics, your team can see when they get closer to reaching their career advancement goals. This constant sense of progress keeps team members motivated to accomplish even more.

3. Award Project MVP

Ever see Legally Blonde 2? If not, that’s probably for the best. But one gem from the movie is when Elle instates an office snap jar where everyone throws in a compliment about a co-worker and reads it aloud. Totally corny and a bit embarrassing but an alright premise.

It’s important to recognize and reward greatness. Gamify your projects by awarding Project MVP to the most valuable team member at the close of every project. Encourage good work by acknowledging when it’s being done. The title of Project MVP, as goofy and pointless as it is, is a small reminder that hard work is noticed and valued.

Do you think gamifying your projects works? Have you tried any gamification techniques? Or do you think this whole thing is a crazy fad? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credit, Keegan Jones, Flickr

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Vanessa Fiorido

Vanessa Fiorido watches a lot of YouTube at work. Sometimes she blogs about project management.

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