The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are almost upon us, and most people in the UK are thinking back to the exciting summer of the London 2012 Olympic Games. There is certainly something that inspires us all when it comes to games and competition.
The business world is no different. For a long time the walls of sales offices have been lined with sales revenue rankings, and many organisations have employee competitions and awards for everything from customer service to innovation. There is something about the nature of games that is inherently motivational for the human race.
Applying this concept to ERP can require a little more thought, but it can be done and it’s very effective both during the ERP implementation project and afterwards to support the on-going use of your ERP.
GAMIFICATION OF THE ERP IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT
A term has been coined in recent years called gamification; the Wikipedia definition is “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.” In an ERP context, gamification could be applied in the following way.
Motivating people to carry out the required activities within an ERP implementation can be difficult, especially when you are asking people to start early and work late to complete specific tasks within a tight time period. The gamification of these activities not only helps motivate people, it also provides a visible and fun way of demonstrating progress on the project. You might use it like this.
Split up the project into functional areas and list out against each:
- All the processes they need to design
- All the processes they need to document
- All the processes they need to test
- All the processes they need to train on
As each team (or person) completes an activity they get a point, when they complete five or ten activities they get an award which can be accompanied by a small prize. People are often more easily motivated by a reward that is team shared, so for example, the team that finishes their end user training first all get a company trip 10 pin bowling.
Within this process users should also be given the opportunity to “show off” their achievements, e.g.
- Full system walkthroughs with the senior management team
- Acknowledgement in departmental meetings or company newsletters
- Publication of the score boards for process testing and design
GAMIFICATION TO SUPPORT THE ONGOING USE OF ERP
Gamification doesn’t have to end when the project is live, keep the concept in place to:
- Create a scoring system for users that clean data or create new data accurately
- Encourage people to improve their ERP knowledge, assign points for each certification completed for example
- Provide recognition and rewards for users that put forward suggestions to automate and streamline business processes which enable value to be created for your organisation
Once you start using the basic game concept, the opportunities are endless, feel free to share your ideas on twitter using @syspro and #SYSPROgames.