All of us understand the typical challenges associated with implementing ERP. One common issue that all of us face is in gaining acceptance for the new system. As an organization moves from no-ERP to ERP, business users are typically skeptical about the new system’s capabilities. The implementation team is faced with the crucial task of creating a ‘mind shift’ among business users.
The challenge begins with users dismissing the need for a new ERP, or presuming that it will be time-consuming. As a result, the implementation team is hard pressed to reach out to the business users. Recently, many ERP implementers have reported that the traditional methods used for rollouts are now proving inadequate in generating the desired level of user engagement. What we need now are newer and better ways of implementation. I believe gamifying the various stages of the ERP implementation process could be the answer.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the application of various elements of game playing–such as point scoring and competing with others–to other areas of activity, in our case implementing the ERP. Gamification can be used for making the implementation stage more user-friendly, by incorporating gaming elements like fun, leaderboard, and virtual avatars. An example of what gamification will look like and the requisite steps followed could be as under:
1. Define what the outcome should look like
2. Identify core users
3. Chalk out the steps users need to take to achieve the outcome
4. Pick up the suitable elements of the game process and link them to relevant steps
5. Put in place a mechanism to monitor and evaluate it
Some of its benefits include:
- Makes the application user and timeline-friendly
- Adds an element of fun
- Encourages stakeholder engagement
- Improves performance, process efficiency and effectiveness
Here’s an example
Initially, the user manuals are shared with the users for their perusal. Following this, a quiz or picture-based test is introduced with a point system. This brings in the game-like flavor to the mix, where employees compete to score the highest. They can be given some incentives in the form of badges and medals as they clear each milestone. These can later be exchanged for money or other benefits. The process of learning the new system will thus not be a dull job anymore. Top scores can be published on the leader boards, resulting in a sense of pride for the high achievers. Finally, after completing all the stages, users should be able to start engaging with the new system.
Case in point
Canadian airlines WestJet uses gamification in its ERP system to increase the use of the system, which emphasizes on the proper recording of expense reports among other things. When participants achieve specific milestones, they receive badges and gift cards. Alternatively, they can accumulate points that they can cash in later for lottery entries such as flights and vacations. WestJet saw a huge leap in its system’s user engagement levels by leveraging gamification.