Tuesday Mar 04, 2014

Creating Community with Gamification

Here's an interesting problem that comes up in companies all the time.  As your company grows, how do you keep the feeling it had when it was smaller and everyone knew everyone? 

A few years ago, Oracle opened a Mexico Development Center (MDC) in Guadalajara.  At the beginning, it was only 20 people, so it was easy to get to know everyone and there was a very tight community feel to the group.  But now it's in the hundreds and people on 6 floors.  So the GM there started thinking about how they could come up with a way to try to help everyone get to know everyone else.  And of course because it's a development center with a lot of talented developers, they came up with a dev solution.

First they thought about the goals they had.  When there were 20 people, it was easy to know all 20 and something about them.  But as time went on, you might only know the people on your immediate team and some of the people on your floor.  As things expanded onto multiple floors, you might only know a few people outside the floor you work on and maybe not even much about all the different teams currently working in MDC.  Could they create an app that would allow new people to meet the whole MDC team, from individuals to all the teams and projects that are happening within the larger organization?  Welcome to the FaceGame!

FaceGame Home

The FaceGame is a fun way to introduce new people and learn about the people that they work with.  It has some fairly straightforward mechanics (we'll show you a person, you figure out who they are--and then you get to see some information about them). 

QuestionWrong Answer

Initially, the game only asks you about your immediate team.  But as you get better, you level up and start getting asked about people on your floor.  Once you master the people on your floor, it starts asking you about people on other floors.  And recently, to spark up the team competition, they even added things like an inter-floor competition.

The app has been a great way to meet new people and learn about different teams, taking a large organization and making it more manageable.  Strictly speaking, this isn't gamification, it's a game.  But the same idea could be used in a training application, to gamify the training process.  Let's say you work retail and need to know details about your inventory--welcome to the Bedding Department Game!  Or you are training new mechanics to know the various parts of the vehicles they work on--welcome to the Automotive Parts Department Game!  And in the end, it's fun.

Meet the Team



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All things gamification, mostly focused on the Enterprise space but occasionally on other issues related to gamification. Thoughts are my own.

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