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Increasing Engagement in Enterprise Architecture & Innovation with Gamification

by Bunny Tharpe       • October 6, 2015

Gamification brings elements of traditional game play to drive engagement and behavior. Traditionally, engagement of stakeholders has been critical to the success of innovation and enterprise architecture initiatives.

Game players typically exhibit persistence, risk taking, attention to detail and problem solving. All behaviors that would ideally be suited to management of EA and IM.

Many EA projects fail through disengagement of the wider community. Innovation efforts can suffer from a lack of persistence in taking a qualified idea through to delivery. Gamification can help by providing mechanisms to engage and retain communities through these endeavors.

Gamification Detail & Techniques

There are really 4 objectives that we’re looking to address with gamification:

  • Fostering engagement
  • Inspiring loyalty
  • Increasing conversions
  • Building a community

The objectives help us to make our innovation management and enterprise architecture practices a success.

Fostering Engagement

We want to engage as many stakeholders as possible and we want them to add value to our programs. We can encourage various behaviors whereby stakeholders want to return and contribute. We can also provide key performance indicators that demonstrate the success of our engagement strategy. Examples of behaviors that foster engagement:

Behavior KPI
Posting a comment Number of comments
Writing a blog post Number of blog posts
Reading existing content Number of page views
Voting on content Number of votes
Rating content Number of ratings entered

Inspiring Loyalty

When we want to encourage users to use a feature, we can encourage various behaviors to inspire them to use the platform more often. We can also inspire loyalty around themes such as innovation management campaigns. Example behaviors that inspire loyalty:

Behavior KPI
Acquiring more users Number of new users
Logging in Number of new login’s
Viewing a page Number of page views

Increasing Conversions

The big problem with conversions is the catch-22 situation of attracting stakeholders and converting them to reviewers of your EA and IM content. Without collaboration you can’t attract users, and without users you don’t get collaboration. So how do you get people to collaborate time and again? Example behaviors that increase conversions:

Behavior KPI
Exploring various different EA and IM views Number of page views of EA and IM views
Visiting other users’ content Number of page views of others’ content
Reading comments of the content Number of page views of comments

Building Communities

Innovation management and agile enterprise architecture requires the input of a community of stakeholders. But how do you build a community and how does gamification help? The following behaviors all help build a community. Example behaviors that build communities:

Behavior KPI
Leaving comments Number of comments
Writing reviews Number of reviews
Giving a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘high five’ Number of ‘thumbs up’ or ‘high fives’
Asking a question Number of questions asked
Answering a question Number of questions answered
Sharing an idea Number of ideas shared

Gamification Missions & Challenges

Missions and challenges are synonyms in gamification. They require users to perform a prescribed set of game play actions, following a defined route. A mission might involve a single step (for example, entering an idea) or several steps.

Often, the steps in a mission must occur in a certain sequence. These missions are called progression missions. other times, actions can occur in any sequence. These are called random missions.

The tasks in a mission might revolve around the same game play behavior (reading five posts, for example), or could involve different game play behaviors (for example, viewing a diagram, commenting on a diagram, adding a concept to a diagram and adding your own diagram).

When these techniques are used within a platform, an organization can design their own missions and objectives that satisfy their particular business goals (for example, a mission to ensure that stakeholders respond to a campaign in innovation management).

Gamification can be visualized in a number of ways. These include leader boards, badges and enhanced profiles for users within a community.

Badge Themes

There are various elements of gaming that we can harness for enterprise architecture and innovation management purposes. Some example badges and rewards:

Cascading information: Unlock information continuously Investment: Feel pride in your work in the program


Bonuses Bonuses – receive unexpected rewards Achievements Achievements – earn public recognition for completing work
Screenshot_2015-07-23_12.18.15 Countdown – tackle challenges in a fixed amount of time Screenshot_2015-07-23_12.22.32 Appointments – check in to receive new challenges
Screenshot_2015-07-23_12.18.28 Discovery – navigate through learning and unpick areas of knowledge Screenshot_2015-07-23_12.22.45 Collaboration – work with others to achieve goals
Screenshot_2015-07-23_12.18.38 Loss aversion – play to avoid losing what you have gained Screenshot_2015-07-23_12.22.58 Epic meaning – work to achieve something sublime or transcendent
Infinite play Infinite play – play continuously until you become an expert Virality Virality – be incentivized to involve others
Synthesis Synthesis – work on challenges that require multiple skills to solve


Progression: Success can be visualized incrementally


Levels Levels – ramp up and unlock content Points Points – increase the running numerical value of your work

Thus we can see that many of the elements in gamification can be tied directly to some of the pain points that are experienced in enterprise architecture and innovation programs.


Although, it may seem like gamification requires you to have an interactive way for your stakeholders to participate, there are more convenient ways you can use this strategy and apply it to your innovation management and enterprise architecture as a very powerful tool.

Many organizations might use this in a manner such as having online tooling that offers badges and points, but without tooling you can also benefit from this in different ways.

Make sure you always have your campaigns or architecture KPIs updated and share them on social media. Most companies opt for sharing this on internal social media platforms such as Yammer or SharePoint and using gamification on other social media platforms as well.

Remember that you don’t have to use gamification; it depends on your organizations’ culture.

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