What can ‘Angry Birds’ teach project managers about gamification?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Project managers are always looking for new ways to encourage their team members to achieve company goals. But what if you could turn these goals into games? Would you get better results?

According to a recent article in CIO, you would. Many tech companies have used "gamification" to make company activities easier, more engaging and more fun.

Applying a gamification strategy is simple. All you need to do is create activities that resemble games. Take the example given in the article about the popular game Angry Birds.

"Within the game, you have a clear, overarching objective: Kill as many pigs as you can by flinging angry little birds at them with a slingshot," the article reads. "With every bird you fling, you get immediate feedback. You hear smashing upon impact, and grunting from the pigs. You see objects explode into bits. You hear the angry birds cheer. And you see points accrue for your various accomplishments."

If this doesn't sound particularly business-like, consider: "All these pieces of feedback work in concert to stimulate your subconscious into continuing play and striving to earn more points by constantly improving your talents for bird-flinging and pig-smashing."

Imagine if work tasks were configured this way. Say you're engaged in data entry. Have you filled 50 cells on your spreadsheet? You're awarded fifty points. Now do 50 more in the next 20 minutes. You earn more points, and a badge that shows how fast you are.

So how can project managers learn how to use gamification to achieve their ends? By playing games themselves, of course. New Leaf offers our QPM series of online games that you can play to earn PDU credits for your PMP recertification. It's a great (and fun!) way to learn some advanced tips.

"PMI®," PMP®," and "PMBOK®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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