The Success Tracking Difference (3) : Self-Management

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

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Success Tracking enables introspection and self optimisation. Photo by Ben Warren

In Wayne Eckerson’s book, Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business he describes 3 types of performance dashboards:

  1. operational dashboards that enable front-line workers and supervisors to track core operational processes
  2. tactical dashboards that help managers and analysts track and analyse departmental activities, processes and projects
  3. strategic dashboards that let executives and staff chart their progress toward achieving strategic objectives

Each type of dashboard offers three sets of related functionality – monitoring, analysis and management but in different degrees. For example operational dashboards focus more on monitoring, tactical dashboards help users analyse the root causes and strategic dashboards focus on achievement of overall management goals.

Instead of being focused on a traditional command and control management structure, the Success Tracking approach recognises staff to active participants in their own management. We want to see staff discover autonomy, mastery and purpose.

To enable, this a Success Tracking dashboard blends Eckerson’s three types of dashboards from the point of view of the user not the manager.

In success tracking we are now doing requiring all three performance dashboard types – monitoring ourselves, analysing our patterns of behaviour and managing our own progress journey.

This is different from the traditional approach where only an operational dashboard is given to staff. Each staff member is expected to monitor specific activities but is not being asked to take a wider view. Someone monitoring activity isn’t expected to ask “is what I’m doing as effective as I could be? Does it help me reach my overall goal?”

Real time isn’t that important

One side effect of this is that real time information, as is usually associated with monitoring use cases, can get in the way of analysis best practice. Instead freezing the data into periodic “releases” is more helpful. This means we can faithfully compare this week’s performance with last week’s for example.

Introspection and analysis requires time set aside to look at the data from a wider perspective. By notifying staff on a regular timetable – say the same time each week – you encourage the formation of analysis habits, setting aside time to consider progress.

Key takeaway

The key though to understanding and planning your success tracking program is think of it from the “player point of view” – how does this help someone achieve their epic win? how does the dashboard show them how they are progressing on the journey? how does it allow them to self-optimise?

 

7 ways to train for your dream job – lessons learned.

7 ways to Train for dream jobCareer development isn’t something most of us do very well. Our horizons are all too often limited to the career progression offered by our current organisation, our bosses job or perhaps a dreamy, unfocused vision of turning our hobby into a day job.

Even in well run organisations, career progression is only properly discussed in an annual performance review and tends to be narrowly focused on roles within the current business unit. Of course this makes sense, there are few rewards for HR and managers who “outplace” cost effective and high performing staff!

However in the digital age, employees no longer need to accept the status quo. Just a mouse click away are the informal learning resources and opportunities for us to take our career in a new direction – we just need the guts to try.

In this post I want to talk about the journey of Andrzej Marczewski who in 2011 set out on a journey to leave his job as an intranet manager to become a leading gamification consultant. It took him 5 years but he eventually achieved his dream job!

To do so he used a number of informal learning methods, not provided by his then employer, that brought him success. We can learn from the route he took.

In his own words, the tools he used were:

Social Media

“Social media was the key to getting really going as it gave me access to people who had the same interests as me and could point me in the direction of what to read to learn more – as well as being willing to teach me directly. If social media didn’t exist, there would have been no chance at all for my work to get me noticed.”

Books and Papers

“I read up on game design, with books such as The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell and A Theory of Fun from Raph Koster. I researched the psychology of rewards from papers by the likes of Deci and Ryan, but also from more “pop” books like Nudge and Drive.”

MOOC Courses

“Kevin Werbach released his Coursera MOOC course on gamification. I wish this had been around in 2011 as it was a great way to validate a lot of what I had been doing.”

Blogging

“I started to write about my version of gamification and my views… I continued to research and produce content on a weekly basis and just kept gaining traction.”

Meetups

“I went to meetups and events about gamification as often as I could and eventually started to speak at them. I remember my first Gamifiers Meetup talk with abject horror. I spoke at conferences such as the Gamification World Congress which helped with exposure greatly. ”

Success Tracking

“By 2012 I was getting fairly established, I had started to be a regular in the Gamification Gurus top 10. I have to give credit to being on the Gurus leaderboard as well, for better or worse it provided good exposure over the years!”

Moonlighting

“I did a little bit of gamification consultancy on the side, but it was not until 2016 that I finally broke into gamification as a career – 5 years after I started making a move on the industry!”

So those are the some great lessons learned!

For me, the most interesting aspect was how Andrzej used the Gamification Gurus Rise board to track his social media success. The board tracks his blogging activity, engagement with his twitter content and the reach of his talks using Slideshare. By optimising all three of these metrics, over time Andrzej was able to reach the top 10 and improve his online social presence. Having such a strong online presence in the sector was a big benefit to his prospective employers looking to offer expert advice to their clients. Success Tracking in action!

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Andrzej Marczewski is now a Senior Solution Consultant focused on gamification at Motivait and continues to blog at www.gamified.uk.

Reflections on using Rise to support conference-based gamification

This is a guest blog from:

Fiona MacNeill, Learning Technologies Adviser, University of Brighton and UCISA Digital Capabilities committee member. AboutMe: http://about.me/fmacneill Twitter: @fmacneill

In early June I had the pleasure of implementing a conference-wide gamification activity in support of the UCISA Digital Capabilities event. The event took place at MediaCity, Salford; a vibrant and engaging venue for an event stocked-full of innovative ideas. The event focused on showcasing successful practices for supporting academic staff and learners in their use of technology within further and higher education. Another goal of the event was to highlight findings from the recent Digital Capabilities survey. So when a member of the event organising committee, Iain Cameron (University of Aberdeen, and UCISA Digital Capabilities committee), mentioned the idea of a Twitter selfie (or Twelfie) competition as part of the proceedings; Rise immediately came to my mind as the right tool for the job! I had encountered Rise before at a demo at the International Confex event in 2013 and then again during the Mahara 2014 Hui held at the University of Brighton.

The rules of the game were simple and already outlined for me by the organisers. One point was awarded for original selfies; @mentions; and retweets featuring the #udigcap hashtag. Two points were awarded to reward the befriending behaviours needed to: take selfies with another delegate; take selfies with a speaker; and take selfies with organisers. Three points were awarded for imaginative selfies; selfies with passing celebrities who work or visit the television studios of MediaCity; and a selfie with a famous landmark. Although the game was simple, we entered into it with a sense of playfulness, completed by my donning the literal udig-Cap on my head, to signify my position as the twelfie official! Here’s the photo evidence

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Benefits

Observed positive effects of using Rise Leaderboard:

  • Rise really stoked attendee engagement via Twitter. There were around 90 tweets that included twelfies. Overall, there were almost 1200 tweets related to the event, many of which were a direct result of attendees taking part in the Leaderboard.

TweetFeed

  • The competition called for attendees to take photos of themselves with other attendees, speakers and celebrities. This encouraged both in-person and online engagement.

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  • The twelfie competition promoted a sense of fun and resulted in crowdsourced documentation of the event proceedings. The documentation is now archived as a Storify
    • The competition boosted discursive engagement and publicised the twitter feed prior to the event. This was largely achieved by some pre-conference challenges where attendees were asked to take engaging photographs of their journey to the conference.

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Top tips for using Rise in a conference situation

  1. Our photo-based metrics meant that we had to do a lot of manual scoring. I suggest using a wider variety of metrics, including a mixture of automatic metrics derived from twitter polling and manual metrics.
  2. I recommend linking a Google doc to the active leaderboard to enable simpler player addition and
  3. Limit the number of times a certain metric can be scored. We found that some of the twelfies became repetitive, as there was not a limit on the number of times that a twelfie could be scored.
    • Include some wildcard activities to promote positive conference behaviour:
      • g. tweet and tag someone whom you met at lunchtime (with their permission);
      • engage in the conference treasure hunt and tweet what you found etc.
  1. Take greater advantage of the need for the human superviser, or games-master, and consider using them to lead tweet-ups of certain topics raised during the event. These could also have point-awarding options.
  2. Consider day-by-day scoring and options for remote attendees and second day attendees.
  3. Points for @mentions of anything other than the conference hashtag, can affect the quality of tweets’ written content due to the character limit. Best to keep it to one @mention metric.
    Add players in advance of the conference, if possible.
  4. Having clearly defined board release times was a good strategy and led to a sense of anticipation, e.g. breaks worked well as times to release and show the updated leaderboard. Leave at least 10 minutes for the polls to complete and to release the board. I owe this idea to Katie Piatt (University of Brighton), who used this strategy to great effect at the 2014 Mahara Hui.

Future ideas

As I contemplate gamification at the next iteration of the Digital Capabilities event I have been considering how the competitive element could be developed further. Here are a few ideas, although I won’t go into specifics, as I don’t want to give the game away in advance!

  • Make awards unexpected – as Daniel Pink, explains in his 2010 book, Drive expected extrinsic rewards can negatively affect performance (pp. 63-70). Therefore adding some unexpected rewards for completed tasks could add value. However these rewards will not be itemised on the rules list, so a disclaimer about judge discretion may be helpful!
  • Reward introverts as well as extroverts – one of the best conferences that I have ever attended was Eyeo Festival based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (http://eyeofestival.com). Eyeo is an awe-inspiring event focusing on data visualisation, interactivity and maker ethics. However in the midst of all the flashy stuff, in the two years that I attended they had quiet spaces where one could engage in puzzles and inventions related to the event, sans supervision or sales influence. This was an invaluable opportunity to play and learn. Having an area in a conference like this provides time for time-out and inspiration as well as hidden scoring opportunities!
  • An idea inspired by Jane McGonigal’s book, Reality is Broken (2012): we allow attendees to +1 each other. This is like an in-person analogy of a “favorite” star or a “like” thumbs-up, but because it is real, perhaps it means even more within the context of the event. I like the idea of using physical +1s (think cardboard cutouts the size of a plate) which could become the subject of a selfie; a nice option for camera shy attendees.
  • Finally this is an idea that I owe to Pete Jenkins (http://gamificationplus.uk), who suggested making the next iteration of our competition, a team-based activity. Rise Leaderboard can support this mode of use. The concept is that player interest will be more sustained if they are contributing to a group effort, as opposed to seeing individuals rapidly ascend up the leaderboard and losing the will to compete due to very high leading scores. In the team model points can still be awarded individually for small activities and these can contribute to the collective team score.

Well, I for one am excited about the next Digital Capabilities event!

References

McGonigal, J. (2012). Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. London: Vintage.

Pink, D. H. (2010). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Edinburgh: Canongate Books.

Telfest 2015 conference uses Rise to enhance conference participation and crowd-source content on social media for non-attendees

This is a guest post by Farzana Latif, posted first on 29th Sept 2015 here

During September 2015’s TELFest (a week long festival consisting of workshops, discussions and drop-in sessions related to Technology Enhanced Learning) we introduced a leaderboard to enhance participation throughout the event, and to encourage the use social media to share experiences amongst colleagues that were unable to attend. Having experienced the leaderboard at the UCISA Spotlight on Capabilities Conference in June, I was interested in using it to introduce ideas related to Gamification, and bring an extra element of fun, to TELFest. The leaderboard is generated by a website called rise.global, which automatically calculates the scores for tweets that contain a specific hashtag, and, following some pointers from Fiona MacNeil who had set it up for the UCISA event, I set up a leaderboard for TELFest. Given the aims behind using the leaderboard, I decided that points should be primarily awarded for tweeting with the #TELFest hashtag and there were additional points for attending drop in sessions and tweeting TELfie’s (TELfest selfies). Below is a breakdown of the points that could be earned:

Tweets with the #TELFest hashtag 1 point
Being Mentioned by someone else 2 points
Having your  #TELFest Posts Retweeted 3 points
Tweeting a TELFie with the hashtag  #TELFest (TELFest, Selfie) 3 points
Attending a drop in session 5 points

Each day we saw the top tweeters changing positions and there was healthy competition amongst TELFest participants.

To keep tweeters motivated, automated tweets were sent out every evening, informing them of their position on the leaderboard.

Twitter activity increased significantly compared to September 2014, there was a tenfold increase in the overall number tweets, a tripling of the number of tweeters and, on the Friday, TELFest trended in the Sheffield area, meaning that it was promoted to local users on the main twitter interface.


An additional benefit of promoting the use of Twitter through the leaderboard was that it helped to capture the variety of views and opinions shared by participants during the event. We were then able to use the tweets to create daily blog posts summarising these discussions using Storify, allowing us to produce a record of the day’s events for participants to look back on and to give some insight into the discussions for those unable to attend.

While the leaderboard was highlighted during the Gamification session as an example of a method to encourage participation and motivate learners, it is hard to say whether, in this case, the leaderboard led to an objective increase in Twitter usage. Early feedback indicates that its’ introduction did motivate some people to tweet more than they might ordinarily, yet others stated that they were unaware of the board. Another reason why the increase in the use of Twitter at TELFest this year cannot be solely attributed to the leaderboard is that we integrated Twitter directly into some of the workshops. It is however clear that the leaderboard did not appear to influence the number of colleagues attending drop-in sessions.
We closed the board on Friday at 12pm and as a token gesture awarded chocolate medal to colleagues that were top of the board – congratulations to Gary, Nik and Maria.


Below is a screenshot of the final top 20 for the leaderboard:

This blog has been verified by Rise: Rd886fcb9534f0f3e25d5be49b850a9bc

Why leaders must take control of the score

As a leader, one of your jobs is to keep those you lead focused on the goals you are trying to reach.

An underused tool in every leader’s toolbox is to create and share “the score”.

“The score” is how you have decided everyone should measure success, whether as individuals or as a group.

Whether we realise it or not, we all take account of the score in our daily lives. Indeed,  if you don’t share the score, people will invent their own. This can have hideous consequences as people chase after the wrong activities. No, it’s far better for you to take control of the score by choosing which KPIs matter and communicating them clearly.

As a leader it is your job to identify the scores that matter for the objectives you are seeking.

To do this, first write out the objectives and the success criteria for those objectives. These may be fairly numerical already. Then break down those objectives into the constituent parts and identify the important signals that you can measure reliably and easily. These are the metrics that go into making your score.

Next you need to attribute the score correctly. You have several options:

  • personal scores – this is a score for each individual. This approach works best in a group setting where there isn’t really a team objective – e.g. a conference, a group of separate businesses or a very large business
  • team scores – a score for your team. This works best when you are seeking to focus the efforts of your internal team – e.g. a KPI such as number of visitors to our website each month
  • market comparison – in more mature markets it may be more useful to focus on the comparison with peers – e.g. we are the number 1 supplier of milk in our region.

Finally, as a leader it’s not only your job to identify the scores that matter but also to communicate them regularly.

This could take many forms from a weekly email to a big screen TV leaderboard in the office. Whatever you choose, you need to remember that facts don’t speak for themselves. The medium you choose is important – people will take more notice of a leaderboard engraved in stone than one hastily scrawled on a piece of paper!

The score is an essential part of leadership. We all take account of the score whether we realise it or not. As a leader you can leverage the score and its communication to achieve the goals you’ve set for your team.

A great example of the importance of leaders and ‘communicating the score’ has recently taken the world’s media by storm. The Republican Party or Grand Old Party (GOP) Presidential candidates for the 2016 US elections recently debated each other on Fox News and presented to the audience what “scores” were important to them to keep and raise for the country. From here on in, how these individuals communicate their leadership goals to the people will be paramount. The use of Social Media will be more important than ever in reaching out and speaking to the electorate. Therefore we plan to monitor the online influence of the candidates and how this correlates with their popularity in the polls. Why not follow the The GOP Candidates Social Media Power Board and see for yourself. Interested in how much influence you have online? Why not join our Online Influencer Board and see how you compare?

 

 

Pros & cons of teamification

Rise    LetMeGetMyScarfTeam based gamification, recently branded “teamification”, has much going for it.

For one, it avoids the problems of individual gamification at work, particularly around badly drawn comparisons on leaderboards that cause unwanted disengagement  (“I’ll never get to the top, I’m happy being a middle ranker I’ll just stay here, I can’t get a top score because I don’t use that tool”).

The benefits of teams are in the shared celebrations, the shared sense of endeavour and collective achievements create bonding and high relatedness amongst team members. We all like being in winning teams.

Recently I put this to the test with a collective endeavour twitter competition to see if we could spread the word among “foreverists” – fans of the recently cancelled ABC show “Forever”. I published an hourly-refreshing leaderboard during the tweet storm and it was well received among the fans who saw their personal dashboard, their rank within the community, and most importantly the progress of the whole community towards the goal.

It worked really well and we hit  our goal and more. 349% of our target to be precise. For 284 participants to drive 4500 tweets, 2300 retweets and over 3000 mentions is no mean feat. Clearly the power of teams and collective endeavour is worth tapping into.

But is there a downside?

Certainly being stuck in a perpetually losing team is no fun either. Teams that lose frequently tend to disband or morale simply drops through the floor – worse, being a loser becomes the cultural norm with anyone trying to challenge the status quo being laughed off as naive.

Within teams there are issues too.

At a recent Gamifiers meetup, Sebastian Deterding highlighted the issue of Social Loafing – that’s what happens when someone coasts on the back of the rest of their team’s hard work – not really contributing yet sharing in the team rewards.

In a short term finite campaign like the Forever example above, it’s not an issue, but in a long term infinite scorekeeping project, the problems of social loafers can become acute.

The problems that occur (probably after the two week honeymoon period any group seems to enjoy) are infighting, factions, politics and disengagement. They can be just as damaging to individual motivation as badly designed leaderboards that pit individuals against each other.

Avoiding the issues of teams is worthy of another discussion but for now it is worth bearing in mind that although teamification has its strengths it also has weaknesses too.

Grandfather of Gamification, Chuck Coonradt, explains infinite scorekeeping

When I wrote the “Game of Work”, in 1984, there were five core principles that would be considered, by many, to be the DNA of Gamification. They are as follows:

  • Goals Must Be Clearly Defined
  • Scorekeeping Must Be Clear and Predictable
  • Feedback Must Be Frequent and Appropriate
  • Rules Don’t Change in the Middle of the Game
  • There Must Be Freedom to Perform and Choice of Methods

Coach John Wooden said “It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that really matters.”

I agree, and after almost 40 years of hands-on experience with over 5,000 organizations, and hundreds of thousands of practitioners, I believe the most important learning has been that the creation of a culture of appropriate feedback is the most significant of the five principles we previously identified.

This principle is much more significant than I first realized and is the cornerstone of improved employee engagement through the gamification process.

The next great learning was that scorekeeping’s primary purpose was to create agreement between player and coach (not measurement or metrics). Feedback is based on:

  • When (what is appropriate frequency);
  • What Kind (celebratory, or corrective); and
  • How Much (primarily determined by the recipient)

Feedback is appropriate. This is the basis for judgment of the effectiveness of the scorekeeping system and scorecards within that system.

I am not a management scientist, like Jim Collins, but rather an observer of the different motivational levels demonstrated by the same people in different circumstances. Our observations produced a bit of a tongue twister, when we asked “Why will people pay for the privilege of working harder, than they will work when they are paid?

Let us learn about the power of infinite scoring from our experience with the games people all over the world love to play. The scorekeeping systems have several elements which make them the sustainable worldwide standard .

  • They are credible to the participants – all players accept the scorekeeping methods before being asked to play
  • They seldom change, if at all. Basketball took years to determine define and adopt the three point line, and then had to have several different distances.
  • They are objective – even the scoring of ice skating, diving, and gymnastics, (seemingly subjective) are governed by principles that insure the consistency which is necessary to gain credibility from the participants and viewers (fans)
  • They maximize the number of winners.
    • Compare 144 employees playing in a company golf tournament. – 6 different flights separated by player handicaps, 24 players per flight. Then you add longest drive, closest to the hole, and maybe even an award for most lost balls, and you have the possibility of multiple winners and several games within the game for overall best player.
    • Contrast that with the same 144 players in a tennis tournament where there will be only one ultimate winner. The first round 72 folks lose, and 72 move on to the next round., where another half of them will lose, until the final two are standing and then one of them will lose, resulting in a single winner. Unfortunately, the end result is 143 players whose final memory of the experience is a loss.
  • They allow the comparison between my CURRENT PERFORMANCE, MY PERSONAL PAST PERFORMANCE, AS WELL AS AN ACCEPTED STANDARD. For example,
    • Whether you are in a marathon or other measured distance running the primary goal is to beat your personal best, or
    • Golf , where a handicap (based on past personal performance) allows all of us to challenge ourselves against our previous performance
    • In both cases, there is a world record, and of course PAR, but the vast majority of participants are motivated by the comparison to past personal performance.
  • They are dynamic. Meaning players know the score during the game (which allows them to change their behavior to win, before time runs out)
    • Hockey fans are much more enthusiastic than figure skating fans because they know the score during the game.
    • A figure skater only knows how she/he did after the performance is over with no chance to improve.

The very powerful question, which drives human behavior, on and off the job is “Am I winning, losing or don’t know the score?”

Leaders, Coaches and those of us who assist them, must stay true to the principles of established scorekeeping to bring true employee engagement and satisfaction to the workplace.

The Game of Work is just like the Game of Life. Everyone wants to be a winner. With clear and predictable scorekeeping, you can win.

For additional information you may contact us for a free executive summary of ‘Scorekeeping for Success’ via email or visit our website

By using the core Game of Work principles, we have much more than just a shiny new object. We will have a very valuable tool for management and an opportunity for individuals to reach their full potential.

Just remember – “Given a Good Game, People Will Play Their Heart Out”.

This guest blog was written by Charles “Chuck” Coonradt, labelled as “the Grandfather of Gamification” in a Forbes Magazine article in 2012 by Ken Krogue

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Chuck is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Game of Work, founded in 1973 and dedicated to the success of its corporate clients. Graduate of Michigan State University. Internationally recognized in the fields of goal setting and profit improvement, as an author, consultant, and speaker. Chuck’s best selling books The Game of Work, The Better People Leader, Scorekeeping For Success, Managing The Obvious, and The Four Laws of Debt Free Prosperity have been labeled management “must reads.” He is a contributing author to the best selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series and quoted in an additional two dozen books. He is a founding member of the School of Entrepreneurship, Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management.

The Game of Work’s client list includes many Fortune 500, as well as other nationally and internationally recognized firms. Companies that have successfully utilized and implemented Chuck’s unique concepts include Pepsi Cola, The Chicago Tribune, Nordstroms, The US Air Force and Postal Service, Boeing, Marker Bindings, Molina Healthcare, Coca-Cola Consolidated and International Paper. Over one million executives, managers, and supervisors on five continents have been exposed to Chuck’s ideas on feedback, scorekeeping, goal setting, coaching, choice and accountability.