Gamification as an Adoption Strategy


The 2015 Fall Adventure begins now! I’m sitting here in Honolulu at the airport, on a 3-hour layover on my way to Auckland, New Zealand to participate in the Digital Workplace Conference, and thought I’d provide a quick recap to my webinar this week with fellow MVP Jussi Mori (@JussiMori), co-founder and managing director of Peaches Industries, based in Zurich. Jussi and I have presented together a few times over the years, including an invitation out to his former user group in Helsinki, which was a grand adventure for me back in my Axceler days. This week’s presentation was really just an update on a topic that the two of us have worked on for years, entitled The Power of Enterprise Social and Gamification to Boost User Adoption, and was part of the Beezy expert webinar series. Our slides are below:


If you missed the webinar, you can also find the recording here.

Gamification is a topic that has been around for some time, but few companies really understand what it is, where it fits into their overall intranet/extranet strategies, and what makes a gamification strategy successful. While Jussi does a great job of defining what it is and the science behind it, I tend to put it in the perspective of a SharePoint or Office 365 deployment – gamification is about driving adoption and engagement within your platform. One of the fundamental problems with most information management platforms, whether it is SharePoint or Box or Jive or a home-grown intranet, is getting end users to use the platform. Most organizations measure adoption by tracking log ins and maybe one or two other simple metrics, and then are confused to hear that people do not see value in the platform. Adoption is not just about the occasional login and document upload, but has more to do with engagement: actively using the platform to conduct business workloads. For example: how often did they login? How long did they stay logged in? What content did they read? How many people did they interact with? Which workflows and applications did they utilize? This is just a sampling of the kinds of activities that you will need to measure to even begin to understand whether your end users are engaged on your platform – all data points missed if all you’re doing is counting the number of times a person logged in.

imageMy point here is not about capturing metrics alone, but that you will never recognize the value out of your SharePoint investments if people do not use the platform. Far too many deployments are nothing more than expensive, glorified file shares. Gamification is about enhancing the user experience, shaping end user behavior, so that they will become more engaged. And not just logged in more often – but doing the right business activities within the platform. In our webinar, Jussi talked about the social layer – which is a huge aspect of gamification – and the game layer. Most people who have heard the term ‘gamification’ are probably aware of tools such as badges, ratings, polls, and the like, all of which fall under the gamification banner. People focus on the tools used, and miss the bulk of what makes a gamification strategy successful: having a plan.

Jussi shares a few guiding principles and pointers for building out your plan, including a review of the 8 core motivations that drive participation in a system, and the four phases of end user adoption – and how gamification can influence at each phase. Rather than detail his content here, I encourage you to take a look at the slides – and to watch the webinar recording. If end user adoption and engagement is one of your concerns, there’s some great information here that may be able to help you improve your SharePoint strategy and improve the value of your platform.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.