How Google is using the principles of Success Tracking

An email from the team at Google Maps landed in my inbox recently.  I knew that it was a “robo-generated” email, and yet I got engaged.  The title of the email grabbed my attention first – “Your  review is making a difference”.  As I looked at it further and digested fully the message, I realised that Google was using the 5 core principles of Success Tracking

So, here’s how:

This bit of the email shows that I have opted-in to receive the success tracking report (score)

And the main part of the email shows how Google are adhering to no prizes, a simple score, storified content and positive score keeping

This is a great example of how just relevant feedback, storified and positive, is driving my behaviour change.

Great to see #success tracking at work.


Why Opt-In Matters When Applying Digital Success Tracking to Patient Care

One Nucleus Blog

This is a guest post for One Nucleus by Toby Beresford. Toby is the Founder and CEO of success tracking network Previously he has worked as a developer of web based disease management for patients, dermatology tele-referrals for GPs and was deputy chairman of the public health sub-committee for Wandsworth Council. His email address is

At the recentPRISM SeriesDave Snowden told the story of how he self-managed his recovery from Type 2 diabetes – he called it his hero’s journey. It’s a story he has told before in a blog post “Early Detection, Fast Recovery”. Critically, he caught the disease early, refused to countenance “palliative” care and instead took control over his cure, targeting key factors such as diet and exercise. After 7 months he was rewarded with an all-clear diagnosis, saving himself from early death and the NHS from another expensive chronic patient.

View original post 1,481 more words

Holiday Reading for Success Trackers

If you’re planning a success tracking program then consider these books for your holiday reading list:


These two books are the critical piece of the success tracking puzzle – Scorekeeping for success focuses on the need for tracking to be for the benefit of the player not just the manager, while Drive highlights the need to avoid if-then rewards in the success tracking program.



These books provide a wider background to the design components of a good success tracking program – scorekeeping positively, using data storytelling, gamification and dashboards well.

The two simple questions every manager must ask themselves


There are two simple yet powerful questions that managers of all kinds must ask themselves if they want to succeed:

  1. What does success look like?
  2. How will I track my progress to achieving it?

These two questions are easy to ask, yet the answers may take time to form.

Ideally you are looking for a metric or a series of metrics that reflect your definition of success. Then you need a way of tracking progress in a low hassle way – for example by automatically gathering the data for the metrics, calculating them and outputting the results in a convenient way, i.e. as a weekly email.

When you track success it’s not enough just to watch the data itself in a pretty line graph – that’s like watching the waves on the ocean: it may be comforting but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

To succeed, you need to score yourself.

You need to create a score that tracks against a target of some kind – for example percentage of quota achieved, rank versus your competitors and so on.

If you’re wondering what metrics to start tracking on your way to success then do read GERM – digital media metrics for really busy people next.


How will the world be better when everyone is Success Tracking?

If Success Tracking spreads then we will see more people and organisations reaching their potential. 

This is our vision, it’s a picture of the way we want the world to be.

Rise was founded to provide technology and services that enable Success Tracking.
A lot of potential remains unlocked because:
  • we don’t persist,
  • we don’t continue to iterate,
  • we accept the status quo or;
  • we expect external circumstances to change around us (e.g. winning the lottery).
By hoping for big wins, we can end up sitting around doing nothing, when we could have been making a start.
Success Tracking is the art of intentional, incremental, improvements that we make ourselves. It is:
  • Owning the 20 mile march.
  • The slow route to success.
  • Kaizen, little by little, 1% improvements.
  • Starting with one starfish
  • A journey worth taking note of.
  • Diligence, discipline and perseverance.
  • Achieving mastery, autonomy and purpose.
  • A mindset that runs counter to the prevalent get-rich-quick culture but it works!
I think there are two ways to success:
  1. the fast way – you get lucky and succeed fast – you land a big fish, you hit a home run or you win the lottery
  2. the slow way – hours of measured practice, tracking performance and optimising to improve, all add up to eventual success

The slow way is the best way because:

  1. It’s repeatable – you can apply the same approach to other roles
  2. It’s satisfying – you can feel you genuinely earned it
  3. You’ve achieved mastery – you know not just that you’re successful at something but why you are successful, it wasn’t just luck
  4. It’s respected – friends and peers will value your persistence
  5. You can take time to enjoy the journey – make friends along the way, take note of the highway, study the geeky aspects of what you’re doing. The journey to success can be as worthwhile as the achievement itself.
Slow success of course can take time – it took Gamification Guru Andrzej Marczewski 5 years to change career to his dream job – – but change it he did, tracking his progress all the way.
Maintaining interest in performance over a long period of time is hard.
Most of us start with good intentions. We set up a dashboard we plan to check regularly, reviewing our analytics and optimising behaviour but over time we inevitably fade.
Success Tracking offers a methodology for us to achieve success by keeping us interested in our weekly or monthly performance.
Success Tracking does this through:
  • newsletters – we receive regular news bulletins tracking our success
  • storytelling – personalised stories  that bring the data to life “personal best!”
  • community – when we journey together we go further, we conform to peer behaviour
  • positive scorekeeping – we focus on tracking what we what more of so its always aspirational
We’ve set up Success Tracking University as an place for us to teach and explore the Success Tracking paradigm. Together we can make a vision of slowly achieved potential a reality.
I am keen to hear how you can help!

Rise launches Success Tracking University

We’d all like to be more successful.

Whether that’s at work or in our personal lives – seeking success is a natural human instinct.

I’d like to be a successful businessman, a successful blogger, a successful parent, and even a successful tennis player (albeit in a smaller pond than the one Novak Djokovic plays in).

While actually achieving success isn’t the be all and end all – striving for it is part of the journey, part of the “race of life”.  Settling for the status quo shouldn’t be an option when there’s always scope for small improvements.

“We look for 1% improvements, everywhere” – Dave Brailsford, British Cycling Coach

At Rise we take tracking your success seriously. We’d like you to be more successful, we want you to flourish. By providing the tracking tools you need to be successful, we help you achieve your goals.

It’s our mission to help you and your organisation flourish through the spread of trustworthy, transparent, success tracking.

As part of that, today we’re launching the Success Tracking University.  It’s our new online training and education web site teaching you how to be more successful using the principles of success tracking – whether that’s for yourself or your team, there’s lots to learn.

Over the next few years we’ll be offering the success tracking courses and learning events your need (mostly for free) to help you improve your success tracking skills.

You can sign up as a new student and take one of the courses – I’d give you a discount but it would be like buying you a drink at a free bar, it’s all free!

Here’s to your greater success!


ps. if you’re interested in producing a course at Success Tracking University – for example in in your area of specialism – e.g. success tracking for sales professionals, success tracking for crossfit organisers then please do get in touch.

Design your smart helmet dashboards with success tracking in mind

Screenshot 2017-06-20 11.39.35.png

AR headsets like DAQRI‘s above are clearly going to be very useful in lots of environments.

One of the customary use cases for AR headsets is to bring dashboards to users inside the headset.

This is great, however it is important for dashboard designers to design the experience with the three different types of dashboards in mind:

  • Operational dashboards — focused on raw metrics to monitor what’s happening now (as in a car or plane dashboard)
  • Tactical dashboards — focused on summary metrics to analyse and comparing performance over time
  • Strategic dashboards — monitoring execution of overall goals

It is these first two that are so easily muddled up.

This is because tactical dashboards are often left to the end of the design process and as a result are very poorly designed. Typically you end up with a screen full of unrelated charts and numbers which the user is expected to make sense of.

It would be great if the tactical dashboard design team for a smart helmets took on board the key principles of success tracking (which is personal dashboard design 2.0) rather than ape tired old traditional tactical dashboard design.

By doing so, they will associate Smart Helmets with the growing trend of motivation 3.0 (autonomy, mastery & purpose) as defined by Daniel Pink and so drive self-optimisation and self-management behaviours.

Here are the key differences:

Traditional Tactical Dashboard Design

  • Mandatory — all users must have the dashboard as designed by managers / experience designers
  • Multi-score— users are forced to choose between multiple scores which are not prioritised
  • Real Time — users are expected to behave like robots — always on, always adapting, leading to butterfly-like attention spans.

It is wrong to believe that real time is better when it comes to tactical dashboard design. Human beings need fixed metrics and results to be able to analyse properly. Imagine trying to have a meeting to decide tactics and next steps related to performance results only to have the numbers you are discussing keep changing while you do it!

Success Tracking Dashboard Design

  • Opt-in — users control what dashboards they use and what data they share
  • Single score — designers weight different metrics and combine into a single score, so simplifying the user (player) experience and allowing easy benchmarking
  • Storified — metric changes are wrapped up into fixed time periods and presented as human accessible stories (“personal best this week”, “hey you passed Phil last week on the leaderboard”) etc.
  • Positive — instinctively we want to increase numbers, so track the stuff we want more of
  • No rewards — it should go without saying but any additional incentives or prizes will break the motivational model. (incentives turn things into work)

AR headsets are an exciting development — let’s hope the dashboards inside them keep up with modern best practice too.

This article originally appeared as a medium post.

Success Tracking for Health

The healthcare gamification market which covers brands like FitBit, Strava and Weightwatchers is set to grow to $3.7bn by 2022 according to  Meticulous Research Pvt.

This is being driven by the growing use of smartphones across the world and the increasing digitisation in all sectors, including our health.

The typical Success Tracking use cases in healthcare include:

  • Fitness management – getting fitter by tracking your activity
  • Medication management – tracking your compliance taking your prescribed medicines (particularly applicable in pediatric and geriatric care).
  • Disease management – improving health for chronic conditions by tracking key positive symptoms (e.g. lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate) and readings (e.g. glycogen)

Of these, fitness management is by far and away the category leader right now despite issues with the clinical accuracy of the devices themselves (Fitness trackers are largely inaccurate when counting calories, Stanford researchers say) it is clear that they are continuing to improve.

Each fitness device provides a dashboard for the end-user to track their success in becoming fitter. This regular feedback is essential to a good success tracking program (what is success tracking?) – also essential is the fact that the user opts in and that there are no prizes to be won.

These dashboards however, are fixed by the device vendor, it is difficult to innovate around them and create your own program. This innovation is a particularly need within clinical settings where multiple tracking devices and plans may be being applied simultaneously for specific conditions.

For instance, in weight management, you might ask patients to track their steps on a pedometer, record their weight and keep a food diary.  Bringing all three sources of data together in a single program is a headache.

That’s where Rise comes in.

At the PRISM series healthcare innovation event, hosted by One Nucleus, last week Rise was there to demonstrate how to create your own healthcare success tracking program on the platform.

One of the examples we showed of Rise in action was a CrossFit leaderboard. Crossfit is a modern form of multi disciplinary fitness.

A CrossFit score pulls together results across multiple disciplines (each CrossFit organiser chooses different disciplines to test their “box” of players) and combines into a single score.

The complexity of a Crossfit scoring algorithm and multiple player categories is fully supported using Rise.

Screenshot 2017-06-19 13.01.34
The recent Liege Throwdown CrossFit leaderboard on Rise

When you combine this with Rise’s advanced privacy features that allow patients to control their own data, to choose whether to appear on the leaderboard as identified, anonymous or not to appear at all, you have a powerful tool.

Rise provides a tool for clinicians, therapists and coaches to create a score card for their patients to opt into and track their personal journey to better health.

We’re looking forward to seeing more healthcare programs on