During my career I worked on lots of projects. My first major ICT project I was part off, the development of Ambulance Control Room software, was a big success. This had everything to do with the inspiring leadership of Bart Prehn and George Rädecker in those days. They had the courage to take a different approach with the projects they worked on, one that worked. I took this experience with me for the rest of my career and used this knowledge whenever it was appropriate. It is time to use it again, as it still works and probably always will. I might have changed some details, but for a gamifier the principle still remains: “get involved!”
Making games is a craft. I have learned that over the last 10 years. You need dedicated people to pull it off. Competition is killing and the difference between success and failure can be in one tiny detail. For custom gamification it is a bit different. Still, we need to gamify an entity the best way we can and people need to be dedicated. It is also a craft, but it only has to work for a certain entity. It doesn’t have to compete on an international scale, it’s different in that aspect. After it’s done, it will be integrated in the organization and people will work with it. There is still time to adjust the gamification product that is released. This doesn’t mean we can lay down and rest after it runs. It will have to be constantly improved. What works now, might get boring after a while. Flexibility within the software is needed to stretch its lifecycle.
Taking in consideration the above, I develop a method for a gamification of every given entity. It’s called Plus 4.
Plus 4 is a method that contains four phases that lead to complete gamification. Every phase is a plus for the entity, that’s why it’s named Plus 4. It’s short and therefore easy to remember.
Highlights of the Plus 4 method:
Get involved!! Be a part of the entity, observe closely. Experience it yourself, feel what’s going on. Combine available information and analytics with personal intuition and knowledge. Use this experience to develop a concept that includes the base.
Turn the concept into a prototype. Prototyping provides the opportunity to test a concept in a very early stage. Test until you’re satisfied before handing it over to the development team that will build the software based on it.
Support the beta release for a short period. Promote the in- and/or external release. Create artwork to promote the product.
Measure the performance of the product as well as possible. Collect user input. Generate a requirements list based on the gained information.
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