The Single Negotiated Score Principle

Nike Fuel is a single score for exercise

The Single Negotiated Score Principle (also known as “one score”, “consolidated score”, “composite score” and to a certain extent “balanced score”) is an important aspect of driving engagement and business results with the use of scorekeeping.

The value of a single score is three fold:

  • simplicity and ease of access – when you tell someone their score is 25 /100 it’s simple and clear to understand.
  • ease of distribution – a single score can be distributed in pretty much any medium – whether it’s a notification on your smartwatch to a big screen TV in your office
  • ease of comparison – comparing past performance with current performance or comparing your performance versus others – if everything is condensed into a single (often weighted) score then comparison becomes easy.

The value of a negotiated score is more subtle, but just as important:

  • both managers and players have high ownership of the score – high scores deliver outcomes that both parties want
  • it is inherently flexible and therefore adaptable – the value of any one scoring system necessarily decays over time as technology changes, needs change and so on. By building negotiation into your score algorithm design, you future proof your score as every so often the algorithm will be forced to change to keep up with the needs of both managers and players.
  • privacy and security considerations are covered – by having all stakeholders intimately involved, the “creepiness” and “manipulation” element that plagues many  measurement programs goes away.

So there you have it, by serving your intended audience with a single negotiated score you get the benefits of simplicity and high buy-in, without sacrificing the sophistication you need to drive multiple behaviours among your team.

The only question is – what score will you create?

3 thoughts on “The Single Negotiated Score Principle

  1. Great blog folks, lets hope people take the time to set up their key drivers.
    This is I believe the problem, many businesses don’t know which scores affect the revenue and the engagement certainly from social media and how that effects their brand building activities.
    This is our job of marketeers to help them to find suitable solutions, without rushing into tactical approaches that can lead us to little or no results.
    The leaderboard platform is amazing and I for one will be revisiting the use of it for my new campaigns…


  2. […] Start Opt-In Only – a good gamified program should start as an opt-in program (with perhaps some initial seeding of friendly players to avoid the empty bar problem). By being voluntary, it falls into an area of HR practice I call the “informal economy”.  By being outside the formal remit of the organisation it is positioned, and understood by all, as experimental and innovative. This allows the program vital breathing space to mature it’s systems to meet the needs of both players and managers. This gradual aligning of management and staff goals is seen in the Single Negotiated Score Principle. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s