Is Gamification simply marketing hysteria or a real force for change?

Lately, there is much talk of Gamification in the IT Service Management industry. Gartner plots ‘Gamification’ hype at near peak, but is Gamification simply marketing hysteria or a real force for change?

Introducing Gamification to IT (specially support functions) is becoming more common as cultivating the right culture which supports any ITSM framework implementation is something organizations are striving towards. Implementing processes, policies are easy but to keep the staff motivated towards the adherence brings the real challenge. With the help of engagement mechanics people can be more involved and motivated towards the deliverables.

As implementing any ITSM framework is not just an initiative but a journey of cultural change and mostly it becomes hard to drive the program at all the levels. Gamification brings a philosophy where people feel a need to be more competitive in their jobs and they get rewarded for doing the right things at the right time. In ITSM terms this means being awarded points, badges and appearing on leader boards based on specific actions.

Gamification techniques leverage people’s natural desires for Competition, Achievement, Status, Altruism, Community Collaboration, and many more. Having all these attributes to the support functions work as an icing on the cake and customers get the real value with the right mind sets involved.

Collection of points or badges and redeeming them at a certain stage keeps the momentum going and that works very well when it comes to sustaining the ITSM initiative. The caution should be taken while designing the Gamification model as the moment people lose their interest the entire efforts can be in jeopardy and all fancy badges will become bare articles.

Gartner spurred the popularity of Gamification by saying that:

More than 50 Percent of Organizations that Manage Information Processes Will Gamify Those Processes by 2015!

While there are plenty tools coming in to support the Gamification which can be run along with the real business problems it is still debatable whether engagement comes by force or by choice?