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Project management and gamification

Discover my professional thesis on project management and gamification in France.
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To what extent gamification approach can be
beneficial throughout the project life-cycle?
While companies are experiencing many technological innovations and trying to continually
improve the experience of their customers, the employee experience is also a major concern.
Mobility, digital and many other factors affect our relationship with the company, whether as
a customer or a collaborator. Management, like many other disciplines, is gradually beginning
to experience a transformation. At the same time, gamification is more and more present in
our daily lives, whether in our learning journey, our relationship to sports or our customer
experience. As an internal challenge, companies are facing different issues, including wellbeing,
employee commitment, management and performance improvement, confronting to a
business in constant transformation.

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Project management and gamification

  1. 1. PROJECT MANAGEMENT & GAMIFICATION IN FRANCE To what extent gamification approach can be beneficial throughout the project life-cycle? Author: Léa SCHMIDT Research mentor and advisor: François GIANG Institution: Grenoble Ecole de Management Department: Digital Business Strategy Submitted on: 13/11/2017
  2. 2. i ABSTRACT While companies are experiencing many technological innovations and trying to continually improve the experience of their customers, the employee experience is also a major concern. Mobility, digital and many other factors affect our relationship with the company, whether as a customer or a collaborator. Management, like many other disciplines, is gradually beginning to experience a transformation. At the same time, gamification is more and more present in our daily lives, whether in our learning journey, our relationship to sports or our customer experience. As an internal challenge, companies are facing different issues, including well- being, employee commitment, management and performance improvement, confronting to a business in constant transformation. This thesis studies the potential benefits of game mechanics applied to project management, as well as the means and methods of implementation. First, a literature review lays out theoretical elements about project management, motivation and gamification. Second, the study follows a mixed-method in order to explore the subject. On the one hand, the project management environment is studied through specialist point of view, including project managers and team members. Beyond the general aspects of project management, the survey focuses on motivational elements as well as possible areas for improvement. On the other hand, a qualitative study has collected feedback from gamification experts who have implemented gamification methods in a business context. While gamification and project management are two subjects which have been largely explored, the combination of the two concepts still pioneer and enjoys a great interest, in particular for professional managers. Why companies should invest in a project management system that implements gamification? What are the most important activities and processes of project management which are more likely to be improved by gamification? How to implement game mechanics into the full project life-cycle? The study will attempt to answer to the different research questions and shows the potential application of gamification in project management. It also aims to identify various elements allowing companies to better understand the subject. The objective is to stimulate new management method initiatives within project management context. Among the elements to value and through experts’ feedback, key success factors were highlighted, notably the elements allowing to facilitate a favourable context, the tested and approved approaches and techniques, as well as the impacts and the limits to consider. Keywords: project management, gamification, human-focused design, user experience, employee engagement, motivation, game mechanics, agility
  3. 3. ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis has been a tough ride, one that I wouldn’t be able to manage without the help of others. A real challenge, which has required the support of experts, professionals, and also friends and family. First and foremost, I would like to thank my thesis advisor François GIANG for his assistance and guidance with this paper. He steered me in the right direction in the very first step of the consideration. I also would like to express my deepest gratitude to all experts who kindly shared their time and their expertise to contribute to my research. I really appreciate this goodwill, probably peculiar to the gamification state of mind, thanks to their passionate involvement and their valuable inputs. Thanks to Nicolas BABIN, Clément MULETIER, Audrey ROCHAS, Céline CUSSET, Daniel PAIRE, Guillemette GOGLIO, Séverine BEDORET, Alexandre DUARTE, Fanny LE GALLOU and Nathan SCHEIRE. And a special thanks to Dominique MANGIATORDI, who, additionally to the time commitment he made, offered me his book recently wrote on the subject. It was a real pleasure to read it! I would like to thank also all the persons who contributed directly or indirectly to the research and the writing. Thank to the group of respondents of the online survey for their time and their engagement. To Charlotte DANDA for her unlimited confidence and this amazing collaboration at Schneider Electric. To Rémy PONGE, who kindly shared wise advices that helped me conducting a qualitative survey. Obviously, to Isabelle COULLON, who passed on their love of User eXperience to me, and made me want to study gamification. To Isabelle PATROIX, who welcomed me in the playground at GEM with passion and natural kindness. Thank to the Grenoble Ecole de Management, and especially to the Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Strategy. Finally, thank to my parents and my sister for their encouragement throughout these years of study. And last but not least, a huge thanks to my partner, for its unfailing support, proof reading the paper, valuable advices and his patience. I wish you a good reading for what comes next!
  5. 5. iv 5. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION 63 1.12 RETROSPECTIVE 63 1.13 BACK TO THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS 64 1.14 LIMITS AND FINAL REMARKS 66 1.15 FUTURE RESEARCH 69 6. FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS 70 1.16 TEST AND LEARN 70 1.17 THINK USER-CENTRIC 71 1.18 DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVES 72 1.19 DEPLOY APPROPRIATE TOOLS 73 7. REFERENCES 75 8. APPENDICES 79 1.20 QUANTITATIVE SURVEY: FULL RESULTS 79 1.21 QUALITATIVE SURVEY: INTERVIEW FRAMEWORK 107 1.22 QUALITATIVE SURVEY: RETRANSCRIPTION 110 1.22.1 CELINE CUSSET, DIVERTY EVENTS 110 1.22.2 ALEXANDRE DUARTE, CONSULTANT INDEPENDANT 114 1.22.3 DOMINIQUE MANGIATORDI, ØPP – GAMIFICATION STARTUP STUDIO 118 1.22.4 AUDREY ROCHAS, CREATIVE SLASHERS 126 1.22.5 SEVERINE BEDORET, HAPPYFORMANCE 134 1.22.6 NICOLAS BABIN, BABIN BUSINESS CONSULTING 137 1.22.7 GUILLEMETTE GOGLIO, ORANGE 142 1.22.8 DANIEL PAIRE, HAPPY LEARNING GAMES 145 1.22.9 FANNY LE GALLOU, EFOUNDERS - BRIQ 153 1.22.10 NATHAN SCHEIRE, LAPOSTE 156 1.22.11 CLEMENT MULETIER, LAB GAMIFICATION 163 LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES Figure 1: The four phases of the project life cycle. Adapted from J. Westland, The Project Management Lifecycle, Kogan Page Limited (2006) ..................................................................... 7 Figure 2: The self-determination Theory detailing types of motivation. Adapted from Ryan & Deci (2000) ................................................................................................................................... 12 Figure 3: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Poston, B. (2009) ......................................................... 13 Figure 4. Evolution of Web search on the word "gamification", from 2004 to 2017. Results from Google Trends as of October, 12 of 2017 ................................................................................... 16 Figure 5. "Gamification" between game and play, whole and parts (Deterding et.all, 2011) ... 17 Figure 6. Players types illustrated by Dominique Mangiatordi, adapted from Bartle ............... 18 Figure 7. Representation of the Flow adapted from Csikszentmihalyi ...................................... 19 Figure 8. Octalysis: a gamification complete framework from Yu Kai Chou .............................. 20 Figure 9. The top elements ranked in the first place as motivation drivers in PM .................... 36 Figure 10. The top elements ranked in the first place as motivation drivers in the company .. 37 Figure 11. Ranking of the top 3-rank motivation driver’s elements in PM ................................ 38 Figure 12. The top 3 addition weighted by rank in PM .............................................................. 39
  6. 6. v Figure 13. The five principles of a strategy-focused organisation (Kaplan and Norton, 2001) . 45 Figure 14. Screenshots of Happy Learning Games Platform ...................................................... 49 Figure 15. Screenshots of Happyformance The App .................................................................. 50 Figure 16. Gamification at work, the gamification curve of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (Dominique Mangiatordi) ............................................................................................................ 55 Figure 17. Screenshots of the online project management tools Moovia ................................. 68 Figure 18. Build - Measure - Learn Feedback Loop (Ries, 2011) ................................................ 71 Figure 19. From a vision to a product (Ries, 2011) ..................................................................... 73 Table 1. Crossing results of research methods to better reinforce findings .............................. 25 Table 2. Respondents overview .................................................................................................. 29 Table 3. Comparison of motivation drivers in PM according to methodologies ....................... 40 Table 4. Results comparison concerning PM methodology from KPMG survey ........................ 41 Table 5. Estimated cost per unit, according to Daniel Paire ....................................................... 54 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS EX – Employee experience ICT - Information and Communication Technologies MOOC – Massive Open Online Course MVP – Minimum Viable Product PM - Project Management PMBOK - Project Management Body Of Knowledge PMI - Project Management Institute SDT - Self-Determination Theory UX – User experience
  7. 7. 1. INTRODUCTION Today, the challenge of companies is not to sell products or services, it’s to sell experience. This is the case of some successful brands, such as Starbucks, Nespresso, Amazon or Apple. But experience is not limited to customer experience. Today, the challenge to deliver a great experience is also internal. How to propose a positive employee experience as a whole? Among the different drivers, the gamification seems to be a medium to consider in order to improve employee’s engagement and to deliver an enjoyable experience. This last decade was a real success for the game industry, especially concerning the computer and the video games. Number of players has notably increased during the last 30 years, reaching over 155 million of video games players in the USA. And the audience is surprisingly extremely diverse, with an average age of 35 (ESA, 2015)1 . Focusing on the French market, 73,3% of French people declared playing video games in 2016 (Xerfi France, 2016), and the market had continued to grow in 2017. What makes game so addictive and engaging? Behind the entertainment area, game mechanics have been seriously considered in education and business, leading to the emergence of the “gamification” term. Coming to the initial definition, gamification is defined as the use of game mechanisms in a non-game context (Deterding et al., 2011). Gamification is an emerging practice, and a vast amount of well-established companies has already experienced and implemented gamification strategy, such as IBM, McDonald’s, Nike, Microsoft, SAP and more (Zichermann, 2013). Already in 2011, practitioners and research studies predicted the central role of gamification within companies (Blohm & Leimeister, 2013). In 2011, Gartner already predicted the gamification trend and the impact of gamification in the business transformation, including innovation. And more recently, Markets & Markets estimated the market value of gamification at nearly $ 5 billion in 2018. And this fast emergence is obviously facilitated by the convergence of three main evolutions: an easy and fast access to the internet including on mobile, the evolution of mobility thanks to reliable tablets and smartphones, and a real attitude change in the management approach (Mangiatordi, 2017 p.21, 22). Gamification is progressively starting to mature, with more and more talks and conferences, experiments and market researches. Among the different fields of application, marketing and communication strategies have intelligently exploit the mechanics to face the challenge of standing out and engaging with customers. And of course, to strengthen the customer loyalty, which is probably the most popular illustration of gamification. The famous McDonald’s brand has well understood the benefits of game, by launching already 30 years ago its successful monopoly game. Beyond loyalty programs, marketing campaigns have become more and more engaging, and very innovative (i.e. Magnum pleasure hunt, Coca-Cola’s Shake it), and even serve social and environmental initiatives such as recycling or energy consumption saving, such as RecycleBank, OPower, Virtual Energy Advisor App, to name only few of them. With the rise of digital services, gamification mechanics have been, of course, implemented into web and mobile applications. One famous example is Waze, a popular GPS app using gamified features to transform the 1
  8. 8. 2 navigation experience. The app has been massively adopted in a short time with a high users’ satisfaction, receiving thousands “five stars” rating on the application store. While basic GPS simply provides direction, Waze has created a strong community to improve the data collection and propose the best in real time direction. With this human centric approach, the app has transformed simple drivers in goal-oriented users: contributing to the community (Yu-Kai Chou, 2015)2 . Another famous example is LinkedIn, encouraging users to complete their profile by implementing a progress bar and different levels of expertise and by attributing social points with skills recommendation to improve the overall experience on the platform. Indeed, the challenge was to propose complete information about users in order to use the full potential of the service. Foursquare, Yelp, TripAdvisor, there is no shortage of examples implementing gamification techniques to improve the User Experience on web and mobile interfaces. Progressively, it has been extended to other areas, including training. To which is added the emergence of massive online trainings such as MOOCs, and also serious games which combine learning techniques and the power of game pedagogy. Beyond the development of gamified services for customers, businesses started to capture the opportunity of gamification to leverage internal challenges in relation to human resources and employee trainings, including virtual learning environments. But also in other areas, such as internet engagement, productivity and efficiency enhancement or Knowledge Management, innovation3 … In short, whether it is for internal, external business or more generally society challenges, game mechanics have been implemented for their ability to boost the engagement and develop loyalty by improving the overall experience. In my personal experience, I had the chance to experiment some gamification projects. First in education, where serious games have become a standard. In 2011, my technical diploma introduced the academic year through a game in order to discover our class, teachers and future lessons. It was the very beginning of serious games. Today, it’s almost considered as a standard in Business School. In my curriculum at Burgundy School of Dijon, we experienced each year a virtual business game in order to understand basics of management, including financial and risk management, marketing concepts, sales and retail fundamentals… And this approach seems to be quite successful. From what I have seen, students were involved and stimulated in the game, particularly with a strong sense of competition. These first experiences in education made me want the same: understand how the brain is working in order to implement engaging drivers in project management methods. Another experience in game mechanics was at Schneider Electric, during my apprenticeship. Firstly, in the animation of the Commercial Excellence Community, in which regular challenges were implemented to stimulate the Field Services Sales team. But also in our communication mission, in which we highlighted the “top performers of the quarters” to promote great initiatives, collaboration and results. And secondly, I get the chance to be rewarded by my manager through their internal reward program “step-up recognition”. The mechanics are based on points attribution, in order to enhance personal performance. Once received, these points can be converted through the platform in gift cards that can be used in different stores. But finally, I realized that the monetary value is not really the point. The real value is an intrinsic motivation: social recognition. Far from being an expert on the subject, gamification and understanding of human behaviour have always inspired me. This last couple of years, I was especially interested in 2 3 From Kevin Werbach, Entreprise Applications (
  9. 9. 3 design thinking and UX, especially in the design of web interface. In my opinion, gamification is part of the human-centred design approach, harmonising to the UX design fundamentals. Playing is a voluntary and positive approach (Mangiatordi, 2017). No need for research to understand that games conduct to the satisfaction of our basic human needs. This is a way to formalize and highlight achievement, status, or even implement competition and challenges between players. The combination of gamification and project management seems to be obvious: both concepts share many similarities especially with the identification of roles, goals setting, metrics and progression. Actually, one of the fundamental principles of games is to define impartial rules. In addition, real-time feedback is one essential component of games, in order to get a real-time control on result and performance. Really complementary, real-time feedback and transparency are key elements of game mechanics, which may have a positive impact on management approach. Beyond this idea of rules definition and results visibility, the project management journey is composed like a game with an on boarding period, scaffolding and finally the accomplishment. 1.1 RESEARCH QUESTIONS Implement gamification in projects is not an easy task and it seems to be still topical. Although some tools and software have been developed to gamified IT projects (i.e. Red Critter Tracker, Themis, Get Badges), there is still much to explore. Which types of companies are more likely to deploy a gamified project management tool? Why these companies should invest in a digital project management gamification strategy? How game mechanics can be applied to project management to create a strong commitment? To what extent gamification approach can be beneficial to project management? This thesis provides theoretical and contextual elements in order to bring recommendations to project managers in the implementation of gamification, focusing the research on a French environment. The objective is to understand the benefits and limits and how gamification may be deployed throughout the project life-cycle. In order to conduct this research and narrow down the study’s focus, the research question has been divided into three different sub-questions: RQ1. Why companies should invest in a project management system that implements gamification? RQ2. What are the most important activities and processes of project management which are more likely to be improved by gamification? RQ3. How to implement game mechanics into the full project life-cycle? The study particularly focuses on studying the suitability and potential enhancement of project management through the implementation of gamification techniques. While expected results are difficult to assess, different hypotheses have been announced, corresponding to the research questions mentioned above: H1. Gamification techniques influence the success of a project by improving the efficiency and the motivation of team members
  10. 10. 4 H2. Gamification can have an interesting role in the launch of a project, which seems to be a crucial step, allowing to define the project and its perimeter, establish the unity within the team and bring a clear vision of the initial objective. H3. Many games have been developed in order to improve or resolve a specific project management challenge, but they are not integrated in the whole project life cycle. It would be interesting to combine these game mechanics in order to create a fully gamified project management experience. Although a standardised framework could be suggested, it would need to be adapted to meet the business environment, the project objectives and specificities 1.2 OVERVIEW OF THE THESIS After this short introduction to the study and the presentation of the research questions and expected results, it’s time to get in the substance of that case. Firstly, a literature review will attempt to introduce the different concepts involved in the subject: project management, game mechanics and motivation theory. The first part focuses on project management. This defines and outlines projects characteristics, criteria and factors that influence the success of the project and introduce the different collaborative tools. The second part is introducing the concept of motivation, including the notion of engagement and the classical theories of motivation with a specific focus on work motivation theories. The last part is dedicated to the concept of gamification, including the definition of games, the description of gamification characteristics but also a short reflection process to outline the potential limit of the approach. Lastly, the chapter ends with a brief overview of the three themes exposed. The next chapter is dedicated to the methodology used throughout the study, including the choice of the research method, the different methods used to collect data and analyse it. This part has been structured by dissociating the two research methods used. Samples of the online question and group of respondents are introduced in this part. The last point of the chapter mentions the limits concerning validity and reliability. Then, the results of the survey are described and analysed. Consistent with the field research, results will be presented in two sections, with first the analysis of the online questionnaire focusing on the project management environment. The second part combines the empirical data collected through the qualitative field study and the eventual correlation and additional components from the online questionnaire. This includes the analysis of the content shared by the interviewees, such as the potential favourable business environment, the different approaches and techniques used, the observed impacts and limitations and finally the concrete application of gamification in project management. To conclude, the study will open to a discussion, in order to share addition thoughts and remarks, summarise the answers and attempt to answer to the initial research questions. In addition, potential future research is introduced to open new areas of study. Throughout the study, the purpose is completed by a list of references detailed at the end of the survey. In addition, the appendix includes the full results of the online questionnaire, the framework used to conduct the interviews and the entire transcription of the discussions held.
  11. 11. 5 “What if we decided to use everything we know about game design to fix what’s wrong with reality?” Jane McGonigal
  12. 12. 6 2. LITERATURE REVIEW A variety of resources have been studied in this chapter, as this research is focusing on three distinctive subjects: project management, motivation and gamification. In the first section, basic concepts of project management will be reviewed, in order to better understand the scope of the environment. Project management is a complex subject, with many elements and theories. The literature review will take an interest in the project characteristics, success factors and criteria related to the impact of employee’s engagement. The second part is about understanding motivation and engagement, with a short introduction to employee’s engagement, the description of motivation characteristics and an overall review of work motivation theories. The third section will then develop the gamification concept by introducing the notion in a broad sense and deal with game mechanics in depth. Lastly, the limits of gamification will be highlighted. This literature review was key in the study, as lectures aim to get a clear vision of the scope of the subject, and underline what have been already done and what are the next challenges to meet. 1.3 INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT 1.3.1 History, definition and characteristics of project management In the academic literature, the approach of project management seems to be recent. According to management historians, the concept was established and formalised from 1950 (Shenhar & Dvir, 1996). Standardised methods and tools started to be developed from 1950, such as the PERT method in 1969 (Program Evaluation and Review Technic) created by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This is only in 1980, during the industrial revolution, that the method was largely implemented by organisations. Today, project management is common in most businesses, such as healthcare, banking, insurance, manufacturing, IT, R&D or marketing companies. Despite this recent implementation of the method in modern organisation, the concept of project management seems to be part of the human activity (Garel, 2003). Already a thousand years ago, the world history has known many vast projects, such as the construction of Egyptian pyramid or the Great Wall of China. Today, project management may be considered as the adaptation of ancestral methods in our modern and complex business environment. Before going deeply in the subject, the notion of project in the broad sense and its relationship with project management need to be introduced. The main purpose of organisations is to perform and produce work through the time by managing people and resources (PMBOK, 2000). In this notion of performance, two categories of activities differ: operations and projects. The difference between operations and projects is about the singularity and the temporality of the project. While an operation is a repetitive task, a project is defined as “an endeavour in which human, material and financial resources are organized in a novel way, to undertake a unique scope of work, of given specification, within constraints of cost and time, so as to achieve beneficial change defined by quantitative and qualitative objectives.” (Turner, 1999). At the opposite of an operation which can be repeated over time, a project is characterised by its uniqueness. Of course, the uniqueness is a relative concept, as many repeated elements might
  13. 13. 7 be similar through projects. But on each project, some parameters may differ and impact the project as a whole, such as the environment, resources or objectives. However, novelty and uniqueness of projects vary according to the defined variables, from very familiar to completely new elements. The second characteristic is about time limitation. This temporality implies the concept of objectives: once the objective is achieved, the project is ended. This time limitation does not necessarily mean short-term duration, as a project can be implemented in weeks, months or even years. However, this is important to distinguish the act of production - the project - which is ceased after the achievement of objectives, and the result of the project which is not necessarily time framed. To illustrate this distinction, the construction of a monument is limited through the time and takes end when the monument is built. But the monument itself - as a result of the project - has no time limitation. Finally, a project progresses through different processes. Because the project is evolving in a unique scope of work and is time limited, the project need to be elaborated step by step, in a progressive elaboration. These processes are organised in a life cycle composed by 4 main phases (cf. Figure 1), in order to provide a basic framework for management. Depending on the nature of the project, the number of phases in the life cycle model varies (Patanakul et al., 2010). In a traditional point of view, steps are identified in sequential phases such as conceptualisation, planning, execution and termination (Pinto & Prescott, 1990). Figure 1: The four phases of the project life cycle. Adapted from J. Westland, The Project Management Lifecycle, Kogan Page Limited (2006) After this short overview of the definition and the characteristics of a project, project management notion will be introduced. Project management is the process of achievement,
  14. 14. 8 with “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements” (PMBOK, 2000). As management in a broad sense is an ongoing process, project management is driven by project characteristics: it has a limit of time, ended when the objective of the project is achieved. Project management is mostly focused on planning, organising, controlling, and monitoring a project (Munns & Bjeirmi, 1996). However, the function of project management involves many other aspects, as it operates in a broader environment than the project, including the business and the external environment. Among the variety of project management knowledge areas, this study will principally focus on planning, as it was identified as the main role of project management (Packendorff, 1995). According to the complexity of the project and its characteristics, different project management approaches can be applied. Traditional approach, established in the 50’s, is the most common method in PM, adapted to a large range of projects (Špundak, 2014). The method assumes that the project is predictable: limits are easily set and tasks are linearly planned. However, this traditional approach has rapidly proved its limits, as many unpredictable aspects are likely to emerge during the execution. Facing this challenge of dynamic environment, new project management have progressively emerged in order to improve the adaptability of PM. This classical approach is associated with the waterfall method, rolling-out a certain number of stages throughout the time. Although this approach can be easily applied to all kind of projects, other life cycles have been developed, more adapted to project characteristics, with an incremental approach. One of the most popular is certainly SCRUM as an agile methodology, initially developed for software engineering project in order to manage complex projects, where requirements and objectives might change through the time. In this approach, rapid feedback and continuous improvement are fundamentals, and processes are continuously evolving (Balaji & Murugaiyan, 2012). The agile method introduces also new guidelines and principles concerning the communication and the collaboration, where team members are more involved in decision making (Aubry, 2015). This trendy approach leads to the emergence of the agility term which defines the mind-set of the method. Aubry (2015) defines the notion of agility as “the ability of an organization to provide services early and often to its users, while adapting to changes in its environment in time.” This notion is more and more introduced in a various set of industries, in order to boost continuous innovation and accelerate delivery time. From these two general methods, traditional and agile, many adaptations have been made, but the overall concept is still the same. 1.3.2 Criteria and factors for successful project Two components are related to the success: success criteria and success factors (Turner, 1999). Success criteria is the reference defined basically before the start of the project to measure the success. In the standard mantra, 3 success criteria should be taken into account: quality, cost and time (Atkinson, 1999), as a balance to manage and respect properly through the different stages of the project. However, these 3 criteria are only basics. Measuring the success of a project goes beyond these fundamentals elements, with objective and subjective indicators. Success criteria differs from one project to another, taking into account the characteristic of the project as a unique and complex system. Objectively, project management needs to define clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which can be easily tracked during the project in order to control and monitor the project performance. Time and cost can be defined as KPIs, but also other quantitative parameters, such as productivity or revenue. On the other hand, evaluating the quality of the project is quite subjective, as the satisfaction is relative to different points of
  15. 15. 9 view. To better measure the success of a project, the satisfaction of all stakeholders, directly or indirectly involved in the project, needs to be taken into account. First, with the perception of the team concerning the quality of the project and the measurement of external performance with client’s satisfaction (Pinto & Prescott, 1990). But also, the satisfaction of other stakeholders, including users, shareholders, sponsors, the management board or even contractors (Westerveld, 2003). Actually, the success is relative to the point of view, according to the importance given to some criteria and the objective to achieve: generate profit, increase the value of the company, meet user requirements… But project success is also relative to the time. It can be evaluated as successful in a short-term point of view, but with a step back - months or years later - the project can be appraised differently. In this context, this is interesting to distinguish the PM success, directly linked with the performance of the execution and the project success, closely related to the result (Cooke-Davies, 2002). Defining the success criteria is one thing, but what are the elements having an impact on this success? Many key success factors have a direct influence on performance. Belasse & Tukel (1996) have identified 4 groups of factors: related to the project, the team members and the project manager, the organisation and the external environment. First, the characteristics of the project will obviously affect the performance: is it a realistic objective? Is the deadline adapted to the density and the complexity of the project? Facing these elements, the project manager is key in the success of the project, as it will be the person responsible for the whole project from kick-off to delivery, including coordination and resources management. The project manager and the team members will play a key role, according to their engagement and competencies, their understanding of the project mission, or the proper use of PM tools and techniques (Patanakul et al., 2010). But success factors are also outside the control of the project management, with the influence of the organisation, but also the external environment, based on the PESTL components (Belassi & Tukel, 1996). Project managers have to deal with all these elements in order to maximise the chance to manage a successful project. 1.3.3 Introduction to collaborative and project management tools In this current business environment, project management has been partially impacted by the information and communication technology (ICT) and the use of computer software. From virtual to collocated teams, interaction and collaboration are more and more digital. In a first step, common communication tools have been largely adopted in companies, such as e-mails, instant messaging or teleconferencing. However, these tools are only basic communication tools facilitating short-term exchanges, they do not provide a complete and adapted framework for project management (Lorio et al., 2011). This last decade, an amount of project management tools and software have been developed and proposed to cope with project management needs. Among the various PM aspects (financial, risks, quality and resources management, planning and processes), process management is a challenge that can be managed through the support of ICT. Other components need to be considered, including collaboration, identified as a critical reason of failure. Different levels of collaboration software have been classified: communicative, collective, cooperative, coordinated and concerted (Romano et al., 2002). First levels of collaboration software are mainly designed to share information and documents, support meetings and facilitate social interactions. On the top level of collaboration software, concerned software integrates strong collaborative features, such as co-writing on the same document. Some software tends to translate all components of projects into the system, such as life-cycle processes, time-tracking, to-do lists and task
  16. 16. 10 management. These complex systems are related to Virtual Project Management Systems (VPMS) such as Zoho PM, MS Project, Wrike, or Basecamp to name few of them. Benefits of digital PM tools have been considered in the literature. First, in terms of communication efficiency, tools and PM software lead to improve the communication flow and facilitate decision making (Ahuja et al., 2009). Collaboration across the project teams is more efficient, especially through strong collaborative features. In the same way, project knowledge can be easily accumulated by the team, since documents and other resources can be centralised and easily accessible. On the other hand, tracking task status is a way to increase control on the project and improve the visibility (Romano et al., 2002). Of course, all these benefits are not systematic, this is strongly dependent to the context. The tools have to be relevant and appropriate to the project requirements, and have to bring a real added-value (i.e. deploying tools which overlap with other tools already deployed and used is not recommended). In the same way, one of the biggest challenge for companies is to promote and facilitate the adoption of the tools among their employees. And this is not always an easy task. Adoption often requires long-term effort because a fully user-friendly experience has to be delivered. In short, many conditions to consider before choosing and deploying a collaborative tool in projects, keeping in mind that software project management is just a tool and human needs to be considered first. 1.4 UNDERSTAND MOTIVATION 1.4.1 Employee’s engagement & motivation as a key success factor in project management Before to address these two concepts, it’s interesting to understand the interest of motivation and engagement in organisations. The notion of employee’s engagement and motivation at work appeared recently in the literature (Kompaso & Sridevi, 2010), even if similar concepts have been largely studied, such as commitment and Organizational Citizen Behaviour (OCB). What drives individual decision to behave in a certain way, depending on the context and the environment? Actually, among the various hard tasks of project management, human resources are a vital component of success. The challenge of growth and productivity gains is leading to appeal to psychology concepts and understand human behaviour. Through different authors’ points of view, the relationship between profitability and engagement has been established, with motivation as the main individual performance factor at work (Macey and Schneider, 2008; Roussel, 2000). On the other hand, surveys have been conducted such as Gallup Employee engagement survey4 , revealing that more than half of the workforce in the US do not feel engaged (Seijts & Crim, 2006). These alarming figures need to be carefully considered by organisations and managers as a new challenge to meet. Work motivation and engagement are two closed notions and definitions in the literature may overlap. Work motivation is defined as “a set of energetic forces that originate both within as well as beyond an individual’s being, to initiate work-related behaviour (…)” (Pinder, 1998). On the other hand, engagement seems to be more complex to define, as the academic lectures provide many definitions going further to the attitude of performance. Engagement is defined as the opposite of burn-out; this psychological state is expressed by energy, involvement and efficacy (Maslach et al., 2001). One important element is the emotional connection between 4
  17. 17. 11 an organisation and their employee, with a strong sense of belonging, leading to an internal motivational state. The engagement is not limited to the level of satisfaction, it’s a real state of mind where the employee is voluntarily contributing to the success of the business. Overall, engagement may be seen as a result, partly driven by motivation. 1.4.2 Characteristics of motivation Motivation is a complex concept which has interested many disciplines such as education, psychology and sociology. To better understand what motivation is, Denhardt, Denhardt and Aristigueta (2008) determine what motivation is not. First, motivation is not limited to satisfaction. Satisfaction may be the result of the achievement of a goal driven by motivation, but “satisfaction is past oriented, whereas motivation is future oriented” (Denhardt et al., 2008, p. 147). This internal state is not something directly measurable or observable, even though the result is manifested by a certain observable behaviour. In the same way, motivation can be conscious or unconscious. Freud’s theories supposed that many human behaviours are influenced by unconscious desires and impulses. And finally, motivation is not something that people can directly control, although motivation can be influenced. Researchers identified three components in the definition of motivation: direction of behaviour, intensity of action and persistence of the effort over the time (Kanfer, 1990). These three variables compose the impact and the outcomes of the motivation: what decision will be taken? How much effort will be allocated? How long time this effort will be maintained? These elements could be a way to measure the level of motivation by the performance achieved. However, the relationship between performance and motivation needs to be clarified. This is difficult to compare the level of motivation of individuals based on performance measures. Although performance is measurable and impacted by the level of motivation, it is also driven by other factors, notably based on individual differences, such as cognitive or physical abilities. Measure the level of motivation from performance results would not be an exact science, since individuals are unique. In the same way, people have not only different performance skills, but also different types of motivation, according to their value, their personality, their experience, their environment and their culture. Two types of motivation are commonly distinguished through theories: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the desire to perform an action for its own interest and the enjoyable aspect with no apparent reward, while extrinsic motivation is driven by an external outcome such as rewards. Intrinsic motivation is innate in the human behaviour, while extrinsic is triggered by an external element and can result to pressure and anxiety (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Although some studies opposed these two types of motivation, other studies suggested that extrinsic can be complementary and interact with the intrinsic motivation, in order to increase it (Hayamizu, 1997). Going further to this simplistic dual vision, the Self- Determination Theory (SDT) distinguishes controlled motivation and autonomous motivation. This model is a graduated level of motivation, going progressively to a self-determined behaviour (cf. Figure 2). Controlled motivation introduces the concept of a motivated behaviour driven by regulations, both internal (avoidance of shame, self-esteem, ego- involvement…) and external (rewards, punishments…). On the other hand, autonomous motivation is a self-determined behaviour mostly composed by intrinsic, but also extrinsic motivation answering to personal aspirations and values. In various studies, it has been proven that autonomous motivation leads to better performance, including long-term persistence (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Actually, despite the strong power of extrinsic motivation, the impact of a
  18. 18. 12 long run controlled motivation can have a negative motivational effect, with lower satisfaction and less persistence for future tasks. Figure 2: The self-determination Theory detailing types of motivation. Adapted from Ryan & Deci (2000) Following this statement, the challenge of motivation in a work context is even more complex. How to encourage and facilitate an autonomous motivation, influenced by the complexity of human behaviour and the strong influence of personal values? The use of extrinsic method is not sufficient and has to be intelligently balanced and linked with intrinsic motivation to avoid negative impacts on future behaviour. Obviously, no framework is capable of ensuring a result, since impacts will be considerably different from one person to another. But the common denominator of these concepts is the goal-oriented approach, with a sense of progress leading to satisfaction (Meyer et al., 2004). 1.4.3 Work motivation theories: content & process theories Different theories have introduced motivation drivers, with two principal sets of theories: content theories and process theories. Content theories appeared in the 1950s, based on the identification of factors related to motivation (Steers et al., 2004). What are the drivers which trigger motivation? This theoretical current assumes that humans share similar needs, and in order to satisfy them, a motivated behaviour is triggered. One of the most well-known theory is certainly the Maslow’s need hierarchy model (Maslow, 1946), in which a series of needs have been hierarchically classified. In this theory, humans have to master the first basics needs – physiological, safety and security – before developing other needs related to individual achievement, including belongingness, esteem and self-actualisation.
  19. 19. 13 Figure 3: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Poston, B. (2009) In this pyramidal model (cf. Figure 3), there is a sense of progress, in which new needs appears through the satisfaction of the previous ones. Obviously, this model is quite theoretical and some other theories have contrasted this incremental approach, despite many similarities have been observed, based on the satisfaction of needs. In 1969, a second needs theory is developed by Alderfer, directly applied on work situation. This ERD theory limits the 3 types of needs: existence needs with physical and material well-being, satisfying social relationship – relatedness - and personal development - growth. In contrast with Maslow’s theory, the ERD theory simplified the incremental approach with a frustration-regression principle (Schneider & Alderfer, 1973). Individual may regress to a lower-level of needs when the expected need is unsatisfied. Another theory which has been influenced by Maslow is the motivation-hygiene theory, also called two-factor theory (Herzberg, 2005). This model, applied specifically on a work environment, distinguishes motivator factors, related to the higher level of needs in Maslow’s need hierarchy model (achievement, responsibility, recognition and growth), and hygiene factors referring to basics needs (salary, work conditions, policy…). The interesting added-value in this approach is the distinction between dissatisfaction and satisfaction. On one hand, motivator factors, relating to intrinsic motivation, may lead to job satisfaction and motivation, but won’t necessarily lead to dissatisfaction. On the opposite, hygiene factors based on extrinsic elements only affect dissatisfaction and do not lead to satisfaction on its own. Among these 3 classical content theories (Maslow, Alderfer and Herzberg), authors
  20. 20. 14 assume that individuals share identical needs. However, this approach seems to be theoretical and the difference of needs from one individual to another need to be considered. On the other hand, process theories of motivation highlight the cognitive differences between individuals. A short overview of the three main process theories is proposed in the literature review, with first the expectancy theory, then equity theory and finally the goal setting theory. In 1964, Vroom develop the expectancy theory, which tends to understand work behaviours and individual performance. This theory suggests that people make consciously choices by calculating value and probability of achievement in order to maximise their self-interest (Isaac et al., 2001). The model is based on a combination of “valence (anticipated satisfaction), instrumentality (the belief that performance will lead to rewards), and expectancy (the belief that effort will lead to the performance needed to attain the rewards).” (Locke & Latham, 2002). In other words, people adopt a certain behaviour to complete goals when they believe that the result expected is achievable. Another key theory in process approach is the social equity theory introduced by John S. Adams (1963). The concept suggests that people measure equity by comparing their input to outcome ratio from other workers (Bolino & Turnley, 2008). When the ratio is equal, people tend to be more satisfied in their professional and personal relationships. At the contrary, a perceived inequity will trigger tension and motivate people to change the situation. Although this theory is underspecified, it helps to understand the importance of justice in organisation and better understand some employee’s behaviours. To finish this review of process theory, goal-setting theory is an unavoidable key principle in work motivation. Goal is very powerful, as it allows to give a direction, impulse energy, manage persistence and trigger strategies and discovery. It states that individuals are challenged to increase performance through moderately difficult, self-assigned and clear goals (Locke & Latham, 2002). This approach is not only interesting from an individual perspective, but also from a team perspective, because it has a positive impact on cohesion and performance. According to the model, there is a strong relationship between goal and performance; the performance increases proportionally with the level of difficulty until individual reaches its limit, which is also related to self-efficacy. 1.5 GAMIFICATION: A CHALLENGE FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENT 1.5.1 Introduction to the notion of game Before understanding the term of gamification, this is interesting to clarify the notion of “game”. Defining the term of game has proved to be more complex than expected, as there are many combinations of gaming. However, this preliminary work seems to be essential to better understand what is gaming, what compose the game, or even why people enjoy games. In a basic definition, games are a structured form of play, experienced as a collaborative, competitive or individual experience (Koster, 2013). Game is basically entertainment creating positive emotions, perceived as a fun experience with learning and practising elements. It can take many different approaches, depending on the format, the method, the environment… Definition of games varies in the literature and through the time, and different factors and characteristics are highlighted according to points of view. Caillois qualified game as free, separated, uncertain, unproductive, governed by rules and make-believe activity (Caillois, 1961). On the other hand, Crawford promoted four dimensions of the game: representation, interaction, conflict and safety (Crawford, 1984). And to complete the definition, McGonigal
  21. 21. 15 focused on the main characteristics which are goals, rules, feedback system and voluntary participation (McGonigal, 2011). Games can take different forms, materialised or not on a physical medium (board games, card games, smartphone, computer...). But looking forward the devices, game elements have many similar traits. In the context of this study, 4 main components have been selected, principally for their importance in a serious-game context: (1) Goals: It tends to implement goals and challenges, while play is non-goal oriented. The concept of objectives is really important, as this encourage the progression. (2) Rules: in the same way, game is quite formal with explicit rules, which defines limitation on the way players can achieve the goal. (3) Choices: one important component of games is the ability of the player to interact with it. There is not a simple path to follow, but alternative choices allowing to explore different strategies with a complex network of paths. At the contrary, a story is based on a simple sequence of facts, as a static element, whereas games are dynamics. (4) Feedback: the feedback system implemented in games is a way to communicate and quickly measure the achievement of the goal. Rapid feedback is a way to learn and readjust from the past experience. Games are a good way to experience and learn, as a simplification of reality representation. It integrates a subjective representation with a subset of reality, while simulation attempt to represent a real phenomenon (Crawford, 1984). This safety “non-reality” environment is a good leverage to safely experience failures: freedom to fail allows to test and learn, answering to an educational stake. There are obviously many other features in games, such as storytelling, graphic design, rewards, competition… But all these features are specific to the game, reinforcing the four core elements (goals, rules, interaction and feedback). But finally, the essence of the game is about creating positive emotions. Games, by creating hard work challenges (mental, physical, discovery, creative, busywork or teamwork), leverage in an intensive way our attention, our motivation, memory and emotion. Rapid feedback and experience of success and failure bring a sensation of productivity and progression: this is why video games are so addictive (McGonigal, 2011). Among the diversity of games, Roger Caillois detailed into « Man Play and Games » (1961) four different categories. First « Agôn », which refers to competitive games, including a winner and a looser. This notion of challenge is directly linked with the self accomplishment and personal development. The second category of games is « Alea », in other words, chance. This mechanic is really interesting as it sets on equal footing players, without taking into account physical capacity or social background. The third category is « Mimicry », which corresponds to role games where the player is adopting another personality through the game. And finally, the last category is « Illinx », which relates to strong emotion, similar to a trance sensation bringing enjoyment. These 4 categories are basics psychological functions, fundamentals in game mechanics. Agôn, Alea, Mimicry and Illinx are actually often combined and used through games.
  22. 22. 16 Figure 4. Evolution of Web search on the word "gamification", from 2004 to 2017. Results from Google Trends as of October, 12 of 2017 Coming back to notion of gamification, the term was almost inexistent in the literature until 2010, although psychologists have already explored the connection between games and education. But these recent years have showed a real interest for this approach and the term has been widespread in the recent literature and on the internet (cf. Figure 4). Beyond the vision of a simplistic method, the purpose of gamification is to develop gamified experience in order to engage users and solve problems (Zichermann, 2013). In other words, gamifying an object or a service is an adaptation of the core elements of a concept with the implementation of games mechanisms in order to enhance the initial experience. In a first glance, gamification has been widely used in marketing, in order to reinforce customer loyalty and engagement. According to Zichermann, one of the first gamification approach has been implemented into a loyalty program by S&H in 1890’s, with a reward system based on a virtual currency. Progressively, the concept has been implemented in many areas including in enterprise workplace in order to increase employee’s engagement and performance. But the word “gamification” still confusing in people mind: is it related to the fact to play in a professional environment? Is it about learning through a game? To understand gamification in context, Deterding et al. (2011) proposed a framework distinguishing the gamification from other concepts based on two axes: whole and part, gaming and playing (cf. Figure 5). In this definition, serious games and gamification are clearly differentiated, as serious games are fully emerged in a game, whereas gamification is partially composed by game elements in order to address non-game challenges.
  23. 23. 17 Figure 5. "Gamification" between game and play, whole and parts (Deterding et.all, 2011) 1.5.2 Gamification characteristics and mechanisms There are hundreds of gamification mechanisms implemented in order to reward and boost achievements (Muletier et al., 2014). Feedback, badges, trophies, points and levels, progression bars, dashboards, leaderboards etc. These mechanisms can be integrated in different ludic experiences. According to the G.A.M.E. method, four types of experiences are identified: competition, play role, cooperation and storytelling. Bartle (1996) has classified users into four types of players: Fighters, Socialisers, Explorers and Achievers. This categorisation has been defined according to actions that players prefer to perform. The majority of players – around 80% - are socialisers. They enjoy to build relationships, help and interact with the community of players. Explorers and achievers are proportionally represented with roughly 10% of the players. While explorers enjoy to explore and discover, achievers are focused on achieving goals and challenges. The last category of players is called killers. This type of players, which represent less than 1% of players, is strongly animated by direct competition, the desire to win and be part of the top rank. Of course, this classification is only a way to evaluate predominant behaviour among types of players, although players can combine different motivation factors (Bartle, 1996). This classification is interesting, as it allows to understand the difference between users’ motivations and to realise that most of game mechanics used in gamification are focused on achievements and do not necessarily
  24. 24. 18 motivate all types of players. While explorers and achievers are easily satisfied by basics game mechanics, it’s important to integrate the notion of social relationship and collaboration. Some authors adapted this profile categorisation by going deeper in the details of each profiles. Mangiatordi (2017) identified 8 clear profiles based on the Bartle’s Matrix with complementary characteristics. Indeed, each category has been distinguished into two different archetypes: Killer and Competitor, Collector and Expert, Rockstar and Coach, Detective and Navigator (cf. Figure 6). Figure 6. Players types illustrated by Dominique Mangiatordi, adapted from Bartle In addition to understanding game mechanics and user categories, it’s interesting to look at the flow theory. The theory of flow is strongly related to the self-determination theory, briefly approached in the previous parts. Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as “the holistic experience that people feel when they act with total involvement.”. More specifically, the state of flow is characterised as “an extremely enjoyable experience, where an individual engages in a [...] game activity with total involvement, enjoyment, control, concentration and intrinsic interest.” (Hsu & Lu, 2004). In a game context, the flow is represented as a balanced equation between skills and difficulties allowing to smoothly progress through the game (cf. Figure 7). While too complex tasks may lead to anxiety and even abandon, too easy tasks will affect the interest and results to boredom. In other words, engagement and satisfaction triggered from the gamification process are continuously evolving through the learning experience: the progression has to be balanced between people competencies and incremental complexity actions.
  25. 25. 19 Figure 7. Representation of the Flow adapted from Csikszentmihalyi For consistent gamification implementation, different methods and frameworks have appeared to formalise and conceptualise the approach. Among the different proposals, Hunicke et al. (2004) have developed a general game design framework called the MDA (Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics) allowing to understand the different games design elements. According to the MDA framework, three elements of games are distinguished: rules, system and fun. These elements have been converted respectively into design components with the mechanics, corresponding to the rules of the game, defining how the game works, with levels and badges for instance. The dynamics of the game describe the behaviour triggered by the mechanics. And finally, the aesthetics relate to the emotional responses of the users experiencing the games system. Other frameworks have been developed with different approaches. One of the well-known framework is called Octalysis framework, developed by Yu- Kai Chou. This human-centred framework defines 8 core drives of gamification (cf. Figure 8), with meaning, accomplishment, empowerment, social pressure, unpredictability, ownership, scarcity and avoidance. It allows to get an overall vision of the basic mechanisms leading to fun, engagement and motivation. Another gamification design framework has been developed by Kevin Werbach, detailed in the gamification MOOC5 with 6 design steps. First, defining business objectives, to better understand the purpose of gamification. Then, delineate target behaviours to describe what are the expected action of the player in order to meet the initial objectives and to define metrics. As a third step, similarly to marketing and communication campaign, audience has to be described, based on usual marketing elements and also gaming elements, such as Bartle’s player types. Fourthly, devise the activity loops in order to encourage actions according to the different phases of the game. Of course, ensuring that fun is part of the design process. And last, deploy appropriate tools to put in place the gamified system. Finally, although the different framework approaches help to better apprehend the complexity of gamification, putting in place this concept is much more complex than simply add points and 5
  26. 26. 20 badges, as the interesting features of gamification is to mix intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, balanced between rewards and fun, designed according to the initial objective and adapted based on the nature of the player. Figure 8. Octalysis: a gamification complete framework from Yu Kai Chou 1.5.3 Limits of gamification The term of gamification has been contested in the game industry, especially for the oversimplification of game mechanics, often limited to the concept of scoring, badges and rewards. Even though, gamification has proven many benefits, the implementation of such approach in an internal business context has to be seriously considered; used inappropriately, it can also be destructive (Raftopoulos, 2014). Games and workplace contexts are in a way paradoxical, leading first to ethical issues. As we have seen in the previous definition, games rely on voluntary participation. However, professional context is naturally based on obligation to perform and gamification may be seen as a control method or a surveillance system. Obviously, beyond the transparency of gamified mechanics, business objectives are clearly identified and tracked. In addition to the control apprehension, gamification may also be seen as a manipulation and addictive system. Giving the power to manipulate behaviour may be seen as an abusive and unethical strategy, especially in a business context. In addition to this unethical issue, a misapplication of games mechanisms may lead to the distraction of the main purpose of the action. Focusing on quantified figures and non-meaningful numbers instead of
  27. 27. 21 the final objective may lead to a negative impact. Chapman illustrated the risk with the example of call centre: “If you reward your call centre for shorter call times, you’re likely going to come up with poor customer reviews” (Chapman, 2012). Actually, this illustrates perfectly the importance of meaningful rewards and the risk of unexpected behaviours. Another unintended phenomenon may be experienced through the implementation of competition (Epstein, 2013). While competition is a good leverage for individual performance, this technique may also work again collaboration principles with, for instance, selfishness behaviour. Another limit of gamification concerns the long-term benefits. While short-term impacts are easy to implement and observe, with the “novelty effect”, implementing long-term impacts seems to be much more complex (van Roy & Zaman, 2015). Actually, the use of the long-term effect of gamification has been poorly studied in the literature. Gabe Zichermann pointed out the limit of extrinsic motivation rewards and the short-term effect on motivation (Zichermann, 2013). In an incremental loop, rewards have to be continuously improved to trigger motivation and interest. Beyond the fact that this involves expenses and creativity, extrinsic rewards may fail the main purpose of gamification system, by decreasing the natural intrinsic motivation and impacting engagement. In addition, a common fear of managers could be the negative impact on seriousness. Of course, gamification is not adapted to every context and have to be presented in a professional way. The purpose is not to lose the main objective and transform the situation in a game, but simply leverage engagement with meaningful mechanics. In line with management history, companies have for a long time ignore emotions and even banned them (Ribert-Van De Weerdt, 2008). Perhaps this is a legacy from the industrial age, in which performance and production were central. In contrast with this management approach, 60’s are also the emergence of a leisure and entertainment’s society (Dumazedier, 1963). Although performance and efficiency still essential in companies, mentalities are progressively changing. More specifically with the advent of the internet and new challenges concerning the younger generation, also called “the millennial”. Finally, meaningful gamification is specific to each individual. Although gamification has proven its intergenerational impacts (Stevens, 2012), this is strongly relative to human psychology. And designing a game which corresponds to everyone seems to be a complex challenge.
  28. 28. 22 LITERATURE REVIEW SUMMARY After the three subjects have been separately processed, a short overview and the relationship between the concepts may be interesting. First of all, the literature review has shown that project management, motivation and gamification are complex notions, with many theories and approaches which have evolved and progressed through the time. Nonetheless, these subjects have been largely studied and revealed a high interest in business contexts. Through previous studies, the motivation has proven its benefits and its positive impacts on work performance, while gamification seems to be an adapted medium to exploit and implement in project management tools. Actually, there are many similarities between project management and game mechanics, both based on human skill: goal-orientation with specific tasks to complete, progression steps to achieve, rules to respect and resources to manage including time limitation, and of course a specific environment to comprehend. Every component seems to fit perfectly. However, these concepts are not scientific and binary notions, and results cannot be assumed, as the relationship between project management, motivation and gamification is all about complexity of the human nature. Controlling motivation is simply not possible, and extrinsic factors may even overlap with initial intrinsic motivations. In addition to this challenge, a vast range of factors and elements have to be taking into account. The implementation of gamification mechanics in a project management environment has to consider many aspects, including the business culture, the team and the management technique, the nature of the project and the final business objective. Finally, the potential impacts of motivation through gamification may be a way to reduce the responsibility of the project manager concerning the engagement of the team, but this does not replace the strength of collective and human relations. On a critical point of view, this literature review does not reveal the impact of project management tools integrating game mechanics. While a large amount of studies is available on an internal business context concerning e-learning platforms and serious games, the implementation and the adoption of project management tools are less covered, especially with the focus on game mechanics. It would be interesting to get more academic literatures on concrete examples and especially longitudinal studies. Actually, the long-term impact of gamification is still a challenge to manage with continuous innovation.
  29. 29. 23 3. METHODOLOGY This following chapter aims to provide a brief overview of the methods used, enabling to guide and structure the field research, including data collection as well as analysis of the data. It also outlines technical details, such as materials and tools used in this study, specificities and details of the data collection. 1.6 RESEARCH METHODS 1.6.1 The choice of the mixed-method: benefits and limits The objectives of the study are dual. First, it’s important to better understand the general experience in project management, in order to identify improvement areas. Beyond this objective of understanding the environment, the main objective is to get some insights in order to propose ideas and co-construct recommendations to implement relevant game mechanics in the project management life-cycle. In order to get the full picture, the methodology adopted in this research study is based on a mixed method research, by combining a quantitative and qualitative survey. Conducting two different methods may be explained by different rationales, including complementarity and triangulation (Bryman, 2006). In addition to reinforce the findings and bring a more comprehensive result, using a multi-strategy research allows to answer different research questions, in particular by combining different point of views and contexts. Indeed, all the stake of this research is to answer the problem and generalise the results, while taking into consideration the different stakeholders’ points of view as well as the different contexts. Contrasting the general view through quantitative survey with the granularity of information in qualitative research will allow to draw more relevant conclusion than a single research. While the concept of gamification and the impact on motivation and performance are based on subjective perceptions of individuals, conducting a qualitative approach seems to be necessary. Actually, to get relevant responses, the survey needs to be flexible through the interview, since the personal experience and perceptions vary to one individual to another. The strength of this method is to approach complex questions without the influence of interviewers’ preconceptions, through non-oriented question. On the opposite, quantitative survey will easily influence the result with structured and preconceived answers. In addition, personal perceptions have to be partly interpreted, through non-verbal communication, spontaneity and emotions. This is why an individual interview with a semi-structured questionnaire has been selected. The aim of this qualitative perspective is to get flexible data collection, but also explore and understand gamification challenges in project management through different expertise and experiences. On the other hand, despite a quantitative approach has certain limitations, the complementarity of the quantitative perspective is interesting. It allows to get an overview of the project management experience, taking into account the different point of views, from project managers to team members. The idea is to prepare and support the qualitative research, by understanding the project environment and general trends. To allow quick data collection, the choice of a structured online questionnaire has been made. Beyond the fact that the method is inexpensive and not restrictive, the advantage is probably that the survey can be
  30. 30. 24 easily administrated through personal networks, social networks (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and direct emails. Although this mixed-method will allow to partly answer to the research questions, one of the limit is that it relies on the researcher and its past experience: knowledge, relationships, work experience… In addition, data collection in a qualitative approach may be very different from one interview to the other. Of course, the idea is to improve the quality of the interview through the time, by getting more experience, but also strengthen the approach based on the literature review. In addition to this limitation, the method itself may be called into question. Actually, an interesting approach would be to measure the concrete impact of gamification implementation. This is the limit of the methods, both based on declarative and opinion, relying on the reliability of the data, influenced by personal testimonies and subjectivity. A longitudinal case study, involving field observation and experiments would be an interesting method to get concrete data. However, putting this kind of experience is a difficult task, obviously time- consuming, but also requiring resources and high degree of techniques and competencies, with for instance A/B testing methods and gamification expertise. 1.6.2 Mixed-method implementation: objectives and roll-out The implementation of the mix-method will be divided into three distinctive steps, going from a large vision to a specific one. The very first step will be the deployment of the online quantitative survey. The objective is to reach a large audience of professionals involved in project management, from project managers to team members, in order to comprehend the general vision of the environment. In short, this online survey is divided into four parts, with the definition of the profile, the general context of projects, the general performance and feedback concerning project management followed by a short introduction to gamification in order to get the general opinion. This method aims to reinforce and corroborate the second step of the research, with the individual survey. The qualitative survey will target gamification experts, preferably but not necessarily having project management experience. The choice of a semi-directive interview has been made, in order to allow flexibility in the conversation. For instance, by ordering the questions differently, or by simply add extra questions from one interview to another (Wilson, 2010). The objective of the online questionnaire is to gain more in-depth insights concerning the gamification techniques, especially when it has been implemented through previous or current experience. These two methods aim to identify the most important activities which need to be improved, impacting directly the success of the project.
  31. 31. 25 OBJECTIVES RESEARCH METHODS TARGETED AUDIENCE UNDERSTAND THE GENERAL CONTEXT OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT (SECTOR, TEAM, METHOD, COMPLEXITY, TOOLS…) (1) Quantitative survey (1) Large audience, including project managers and team members MEASURE THE PERFORMANCE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT (IN A GENERAL POINT OF VIEW AND THROUGH SUCCESS CRITERIA) (1) Quantitative survey (1) Large audience, including project managers and team members IDENTIFY WHICH PROJECT MANAGEMENT STEPS OR ACTIVITIES NEED TO BE IMPROVED (1) Quantitative survey (2) Qualitative survey (1) Large audience, including project managers and team members (2) Selected audience of gamification experts IDENTIFY WHAT IS IMPORTANT AND MOTIVATE PEOPLE IN A WORK ENVIRONMENT (1) Quantitative survey (2) Qualitative survey (1) Large audience, including project managers and team members (2) Selected audience of gamification experts GET FEEDBACK ON GAMIFICATION TECHNIQUES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT (2) Qualitative survey (2) Selected audience of gamification experts SELECT EFFICIENT TECHNIQUES OF GAMIFICATION (2) Qualitative survey (2) Selected audience of gamification experts MEASURE THE IMPACT OF GAMIFICATION CONCERNING MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE (2) Qualitative survey In support: Literature review (2) Selected audience of gamification experts Table 1. Crossing results of research methods to better reinforce findings
  32. 32. 26 1.7 DATA COLLECTION 1.7.1 Quantitative Survey: online questionnaire data analysis Questionnaire delivery and details The online questionnaire was the very first step of the field study. The initial purpose was to better understand the project management environment and potentially identify improvement areas. The questionnaire was held between September 1st and October 6th of 2017, with a total of 92 respondents who started to answer, including 32 incomplete answers and 60 complete answers, which correspond to 65% of the respondents. The export (see on Appendix, Quantitative results: full report) and the analysis refers only to the 60 complete answers, to get relevant data according to the results. The questionnaire was built in 4 main blocks with the profile definition, project context, performance and feedback on project management (including tools and motivation drivers), and a short introduction to gamification to conclude the survey. According to the results, most people take approximately 15 minutes to answer with a total of 23 questions. The survey has been built on Qualtrics, a complete online survey tool which presents different benefits, such as the possibility of creating multi linguistic questionnaire. In this case, the survey has been translated in French and English, in order to obtain the maximum amount of answers. All answers were collected through this online questionnaire6 . The questionnaire has been posted on different social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Yammer. The four channels were really complementary, as the communities were extremely different one network to another. Different posts have been published through the time to ensure that the publication would be visible to the largest possible audience. The survey has been notably communicated to the different groups of Grenoble Ecole de Management and Burgundy School of Business, on Yammer and Facebook. In addition, the survey has been communicated on the forum 7 . And of course, personalised e-mails have been sent to communicate the survey to few personal acquaintances, which appears to be the most effective medium. At the end of September, as the number of results were not satisfactory, another communication technique has been experienced: content marketing. A blog article has been written, introducing free tools to create online survey8 , enabling to integrate a link of the survey in the article. Unfortunately, this approach has not contributed to increase the number of respondents. Expected sampling and details of respondents This questionnaire was specifically designed for professionals working in project environment, regardless of their role, status or experience. As the objective was to collect information concerning project management as a whole, participants did not necessarily need to have a previous experience related to gamification. These prerequisites were always indicated in the 6 7,16906,16906#msg-16906 8
  33. 33. 27 different communication made, but also reminded at the very beginning of the survey, with a short introduction: “Hello and thank you for participating in this survey! The objective of this online survey is to better understand the different experience of people, regarding project management. This questionnaire is addressed to professionals working in a project context, whether you are a team member or a project manager. N.B. Data collected in this survey is anonymous. Feel free to express yourself! » As mentioned on this short introduction, results were completely anonymous, in the respect of data privacy and regulations set by the referral organisation in France (the CNIL). Information including the name of the company and the name of the participant were not collected. The objective was to allow respondents to express freely their opinion, especially concerning the performance and efficiency of the project management method, and concerning their personal motivation drivers. Concerning the sample, each participant answers the survey in French. According to the IP address gathered by Qualtrics, all respondents were located in France. This assume that the results are mostly representative of project management environment in France. According to the results (see on Appendix, Quantitative results: full report), the survey allows to mix the vision of project managers, representing around 38% of the respondents, and team members. The typology of profile is composed by 32 men and 28 women with more than 93% of the respondents aged between 18 and 44. Other age groups (45-55, 55-64 and more than 64) are unfortunately under-represented. Concerning business sector, results are quite heterogeneous with people working in different industries, such as Information, communication and media, Finance, Banking and Insurance, Business services, industry sector etc. It may be noted that the IT and telecommunication sector is predominant compared to the other industries, with 27,7% of the respondents. This statement is reinforced by the definition of team role, where job title has been occasionally specified (i.e. Scrum Master, Tech Lead, Lead Software Developer, Web Developer…). Among the respondents, the size of the company is quite balanced, with a representation of small, medium and large companies. In the same way, the size of the team project is quite dissimilar, with 40% of the sample working in small teams (1 to 4 people), 36,7% with medium team (5 to 10 people) and only 6,66% working in bigger team, from 11 people. In addition, 16,7% of the respondents is working in another context, with for instance cross-functional projects, variable teams or even with no direct team. 1.7.2 Qualitative survey: semi-structured interview data analysis Interview delivery and details After collecting the majority of the results for the online questionnaire on project management, interviews with gamification experts have been conducted. These qualitative surveys are the most detailed data sources for this study.
  34. 34. 28 The surveys took place between September 13th and October 9th of 2017, with a total of 11 interviewees (cf. Table 2). According to the respondent, the duration of an interview varies from 25min to approximately one hour, with a total of 7 hours and 30 minutes of interview. This variation of time was mostly due to professional time constraints of the interviewee; the interview has been adapted according to the availability and professional obligation. All interviews have been conducted in French, as interviewees are exclusively French native speakers. The interviews have been conducted based on an interview framework (See on appendix - Qualitative survey: interviews Framework), covering the main thematic through a series of open questions. The questionnaire was divided into 5 main sets of questions: introduction of the interviewee, introduction to the gamification, feedback from an internal point of view and/or client point of view, ideas exploration and conclusion. However, each interview was customised and adapted according to the experience, the expertise and the time allocated to the discussion. One respondent, Daniel Paire, requested the questions prior to the interview in order to better understand the objective; otherwise, all interviews were entirely spontaneous. Every discussion was held remotely, through the program Skype or simply through a phone call. Before holding the dialogue, a small introduction was made in order to clarify the objective of the interview, checking the available time and asking for permission to record the conversation. Each interview, based on an approval prior, has been recorded and transcribed (as detailed in Appendices, Qualitative Survey: retranscription), except for Fanny Le Gallou who explicitly asked for not being recorded; in this situation, notes have been taken. The objective was to transcribe all useful information and thoughts, in order to analyse their experience and feedback. To record phone call, a specific application has been downloaded: Automatic Call Recorder9 , available on Android. This App has been really useful with a good quality of sound recording, but unfortunately two recordings have crashed, during the interview of Nicolas Babin (full recording) and Nathan Scheire (last 20 minutes). On the other hand, Skype calls have been recorded separately, with the native recorder App available on the smartphone. Every interviewee kindly accepted to be identified (cf. Table 2). NAME DATE COMPANY JOB TITLE DURATION SURVEY MODE RECORDED CÉLINE CUSSET 13/09/2017 Diverty Events CEO 42’ min Phone OK ALEXANDRE DUARTE 15/09/2017 EcoGameLab Freelance consultant 32’ min Phone OK DOMINIQUE MANGIATORDI 15/09/2017 ØPP CEO 55’ min Skype OK AUDREY ROCHAS 20/09/2017 Creative Slashers CEO 54’ min Skype OK SÉVERINE BEDORET 21/09/2017 Happyformance Change Maker 21’ min Skype OK 9
  35. 35. 29 NICOLAS BABIN 26/09/2017 Babin Business Consulting CEO 55’ min Phone NO (technical issue) GUILLEMETTE GOGLIO 26/09/2017 Orange Consultant in collective intelligence 29’ min Phone OK DANIEL PAIRE 02/10/2017 Happy Learning Games CEO 45’ min Skype OK FANNY LE GALLOU 04/10/2017 eFounders Talent Acquisition Director 25’ min Skype NO (on request) NATHAN SCHEIRE 06/10/2017 LaPoste Chef de projet innovation 50’ min Phone 32min on 50 min (technical issue) CLÉMENT MULETIER 09/10/2017 Lab Gamification UX & gamification consultant 46’ min Skype OK Table 2. Respondents overview Introduction to the interviewees The objective of this field study was to meet professionals with a specific expertise on gamification into an internal environment, specifically in project management. The ideal profile was a gamification expert experiencing games techniques into project management. This would allow to get feedback from an expert and get concrete examples. In addition, the diversity of profiles was also a requirement, in order to compare experience and get a better understanding of the implementation and the benefice. The panel was essentially gamification experts, from different backgrounds. To get in contact with these experts, the professional social network LinkedIn was used and actually really effective. A specific research was made on the search bar with the key words “gamification” and additionaly “project management”. Profiles have been studied and then a personal message was sent to introduce the purpose of the field research and propose to take part of it. On the 9 first contacts, all of them were successful, with a spontaneous affirmative answer, which was really encouraging. On the other hand, the two other respondents, Guillemette Goglio and Séverine Bedoret, were recommendations resulting from discussion through my research. Before going deeper in the analysis, a short introduction of every interviewee is proposed, in a chronological order (date of interviews detailed in Table 2). Céline Cusset is the Founder and CEO of Diverty Events, a French company based in Rhône Alpes. As a BtoB service provider, Diverty Events propose to organise different events around the game, from seminar organisation, serious play animation and team-building. The company is also developing a new product, s’teambox10 , a mensual box composed by various games in 10
  36. 36. 30 order to develop team cohesion. With 12 years of experience, the profile of Céline was really interesting with different approach in gamification, mostly focused on an “on-the-ground” approach. As a service provider, experiences into companies were extremely diverse. Alexandre Duarte is working as a gamification consultant specialised in sustainable solutions and energy transition, who started its own Business recently. “My work is about gamification, change management and awareness”. He is particularly fascinated with the strong potential of game mechanics as an engaging driver. Working with start-up and association for internal or external projects, he did not get the chance to experiment gamification in project management method yet. Dominique Mangiatordi has an extended career as a serial entrepreneur specialised in digital marketing, with more than 16 years of experience. He is a big believer in the power of gamification and has recently wrote a book on management and gamification. His new company, called ØPP, is dedicated to developing gamification applications, such as Peak Me Up, Seeya and Hunterz, in particular to drive employee’s performance. As part of this study, his project Happyformance the App, was particularly interesting. Happyformance is a dedicated App for performance management, allowing to manage professional goals in a collaborative way. Audrey Rochas is also specialised in digital marketing for a couple of years with a background in communication. In 2013, she created with an associate Creative Slashers, a digital agency. Creative Slashers consultants are positioned as gamification experts, including as trainers and management consultants. Beyond Creative Slashers, Audrey is working on a platform to gamify teaching and prepare a thesis on gamification and artificial intelligence in marketing. Séverine Bedoret is not specialised in gamification, but is working tightly with Dominique Mangiatordi on the deployment of Happyformance the App. Her words were collected in order to complement the interview with Dominique, since she was directly in contact with the client during the implementation of the application. She currently performs the role of Senior Project Management in the consulting firm Happyformance. Nicolas Babin, formerly communication director at Sony, is passionate with gamification and has created 8 months ago, beginning of 2017, his own company, Babin Business Consulting. The company aims to support businesses in the development of their marketing, their business, innovation management and project management, in particular using gamification techniques. Beyond writing blog articles on gamification and management, he explored the application of the technique in professional contexts, including in teamwork to engage and stimulate collaborators. Guillemette Goglio is a facilitator and expert on all the animation techniques in collective intelligence at Orange. Part of her role is to accompany teams in the clarification of issues and animate workshops and seminar in order to stimulate creativity and team collaboration. Gamification is a tool she used among the variety of design-thinking techniques. Daniel Paire distinguishes himself from other interviewees as he is the only one who developed a gamified online tool dedicated for project management. CEO and founders of Happy Learning Games, he developed a methodology called HappyScrum, in order to gamified the entirety of a project based on the SCRUM Methodology. In addition of the gamification App dedicated to a
  • EduardoPaoloMinguzzi

    Dec. 5, 2019
  • mcnultys1976

    Jul. 16, 2019

Discover my professional thesis on project management and gamification in France. To get the powerpoint presentation : To what extent gamification approach can be beneficial throughout the project life-cycle? While companies are experiencing many technological innovations and trying to continually improve the experience of their customers, the employee experience is also a major concern. Mobility, digital and many other factors affect our relationship with the company, whether as a customer or a collaborator. Management, like many other disciplines, is gradually beginning to experience a transformation. At the same time, gamification is more and more present in our daily lives, whether in our learning journey, our relationship to sports or our customer experience. As an internal challenge, companies are facing different issues, including wellbeing, employee commitment, management and performance improvement, confronting to a business in constant transformation.


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