Now two weeks into my Gamification course I thought it worth reflecting on one of the areas that resonated with me as key to any successful SharePoint adoption.
If you missed my 1st post Gamification – Starting a Journey
Think about it for a moment, games that you get engaged in are Fun. How does this relate to SharePoint you may ask – it’s not a game, its work! This is exactly the point of gamification.
Gamification is the use of game design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts.
The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring..
Doing work you would probably agree is more akin to performing chores. And having to go through the transition to a new platform like SharePoint is going to be a bigger chore than normal, which is one of the reasons successful SharePoint adoption is hard.
What is Fun
Its worth taking a few moments to understand what we mean by Fun.
Fun can include a lot of things
- Chilling out
- Team work
- Role Playing
- Goofing off
Now read the list again and list those that would fit into a SharePoint context. A surprising number – I counted eight. The problem is that we don’t tend to find them fun when related to SharePoint adoption. That is because very few, if any, have yet successfully applied gamification to SharePoint adoption.
I am planning to explore ways of applying gamification to SharePoint adoption in future posts, but for now I want to explore the idea of Fun to provide some background.
From the above list the following stand out as something everyone would associate with a SharePoint project
Teamwork – We are hardwired to do this!
Sharing – Feels good to share
Customisation – Making it your own
We therefore have a good basis on which to design our gamification.
Nicole talks about 4 Keys 2 Fun:
- Hard Fun – Personal Triumph and Mastery
- Easy Fun – Curiosity and Imagination
- People Fun – Social Bonding
- Serious Fun – Doing things that are meaningful and add value
These are the four main reasons why people play games and are how best sellers create more emotions for more captivating play. Because people alternate between them during a single play session the best games offer at least 3.
In designing a winning gamification experience for SharePoint adoption we need to try and include at least 3 of these elements.
We have a basis on which to build Fun into our SharePoint adoption, however we need to consider the people we will work with.
I bet you can paraphrase a quote from someone in your office if you were to mention that we are going to Gamify SharePoint. Its for this reason that we need to have an awareness of the people we will be designed this for.
Bill English did a detailed post back in October 2009 talking about how different generations will react to SharePoint governance. His conclusion was valid, we need to consider the generational aspects on SharePoint adoption, but I feel he focused too much on following the rules – as we have seen over the years just following the rules will not lead to adoption, and we have to approach adoption differently.
Bill Paterson, Microsoft, also posted on Forbes about Gen-Y and the collaborative workplace. An understanding that Gen-Y people seek to work in highly collaborative workplaces and a need to look beyond the organisations that operate on processes designed decades ago.
Bing Gordon, ex COO of Electronic Arts, stated that Gamification is the new normal for anyone born after 1971.
If you agree with Bing then applying Gamification to our SharePoint adoption strategy will enable us to cover most of Gen-X upwards – leaving only the baby boomers who, as Bill stated, pretty much stick to the rules anyway.
Putting fun back in
By designing gamification into our SharePoint adoption strategy we can put the fun back in and really change the way people work.
Look out for future posts as I explore the application of Gamification to SharePoint Adoption.