I was inspired to write this post on gamification of GTD (Getting Things Done) after reading this Blog post by a certain Ikaruga on the possible design of GTD tools around game theory.
This post was written I believe, quite a while before everyone was talking about enterprise gamification and the writer lays out the principles around which gamification of GTD would be optimal, being:
- GTD needs a compelling story
- GTD Needs clearly defined and easy to understand rules and objectives.
- GTD Needs unnecessary obstacles (it needs to be fun)
The writer was way ahead of the curve, the idea of gamification of GTD and now the term GAMIFICATION is now THE subject of discussion in enterprise productivity and not just personal productivity.
Of course market leaders like Microsoft and IBM have for a while been toying internally with workforce gamification for a while now.
For example, Ross Smith, then director of Test at Microsoft, writes out a compelling case study on internal use of gamification at Microsoft since 2006.
The goals they defined for gamifcation of their work environment were:
- To increase trust, reduce fear
- To create internal markets for ideas, cash & talent
- To take the work out of work
It is a pretty detailed case study, providing the history and ideologies behind gamification of the enterprise, the challenges,solutions. At its end he outlines the following lessons:
- Games appeal to everyone, especially at work!
- Collaborative play builds trust.
- Games don’t work everywhere or in every situation.
- Leverage core player skills.
- Leaderboards and scoring compete with the paycheck for motivation – be careful. Prizes don’t necessarily help – and can sometimes hurt. See this Dilbert as an example of prizes gone bad.
- Experimentation is critical.
- Amplify skill with volume
- Reduce cost with Discovery & Instrumentation
- Reduce Risk with Diversity
- Trust and transparency increase effectiveness.
Given this background, one would think, with FourSquare as a success story, that the market would be rife with gamified getting things done,task management,productivity and the enterprise applications.
Not just yet. As such there seems to be no refined market leader in this niche. These are some of the applications available.
Personal Productivity Gamified
1. Epic Win, an iPhone Application that gamifies your life into an RPG (role playing game).
2. Chore Wars– An App that gamifies household tasks for a family.
3. High Score House- Another app that gamifies household chores.
4. My Life Organized- An Android GTD App that organizes your tasks,projects and goals into a tree, with progress bars on each line item. Of course there’s a lot more to gamification than a progress bar.
4 Aherk- A Facebook app,dubbed “goal oriented self blackmailing service” that challenges to post embarrassing photos if a task remains undone!
5. Emailga, The Email Game, that targets better productivity around email use and mailbox management.
6. If you method is offline and you work with spreadsheets, and need a progress bar to egg you on, there’s several spreadsheet templates with that.
Here is one I’m currently fiddling with on IBM’s threat to Microsoft Office, IBM Lotus Symphony, and it is free to download.(Both the spreadsheet template and IBM’s Lotus Symphony). This will be the subject of another post.
Enterprise Productivity gamified
1.The folks at Bunchball have APIs that let you gamify your website and applications, and have plugins for Salesforce and even IBM.
2. Gamify also target enterprise clients by offering the tools, portals and APIs allowing any company to gamify their internal enterprise management processes.
3.DealMachine also target the salesforce, and aims to incentify and intensify the selling game.
4. Red Critter tracker, Gamified Project Management
Social Causes gamified
1. Games For Change– an aggregator portal that links out to games with causes. It seeks to promote games that educate, that promote social awareness and influence society positively.
I feel as though, at this time, most of the companies in this sphere are shying away from providing the solution to gamification of GTD, but want to provide the platform, which is what Bunchball and Gamify are trying to do so as to have more enterprise clients.
This list is definitely not conclusive,I am certain, of course, more apps will emerge soon.