Task-It is the thoroughly imaginary ultimate gamified work experience. It combines customize-able project management techniques with a user-friendly interface and plenty of incentives to keep employees engaged and motivated. Inspired by all the other examples of gamification I’ve researched over the past ten weeks, Task-It’s was designed to incorporated the core features of gamification– incentive, community, and progress visualization. However, rather than applying these features to housework or self-improvement, Task-It combines them with task management software to become a productivity tool for the office. For the purposes of this post, I will focus on the Gamified features of this application.
One of the most valuable tools for a project manager is the ability to customize task management software to fit the company’s needs. Every team has unique preferences for managing task, and most task management either provide sufficient customization options for administrators, or they are easy for employees to use. Unfortunately, it is rare that an application is user-friendly and offers the appropriate management options. For example, some companies use software that logs the minutes, hours, or days spent on a task, while other software simply tracks the estimated percentage as a task is worked on. There are also several methods for sorting tasks– by person, by department, by project, by due date, by status. Some prefer to visualize a project with a calendar or Gantt chart, others prefer a Kanban board. Task-It strives to provide any of these methods as options for your team. Task-It is also an incentive program, and it applies those same principals of customization to that part of the app. Task-It is pre-balanced for convenience. The points users earn are based on the tasks to which they contribute, so project managers don’t have to determine the value of work, but they can adjust those pre-set numbers if necessary. Similarly, the point values at which a user levels up is predetermined. All the project manager must do is create rewards associated with those levels, so use suggested rewards from the Task-It database. The achievements in the app work the same way, so employers can create challenges for users to complete for specific rewards. These options allow for the creation and easy implementation of seasonal incentive programs, or other unique motivational rewards.
Large-scale task management is efficient, but it can be difficult and intimidating, for those organizing and those receiving assignments. Task-It breaks larger assignments into manageable tasks and dependencies. Multiple users can be assigned to the same task, and each will earn points as they log time spent on that task. Even when tasks are passed from one user to the next, points can still be earned. Users can access the task management on their desktop computer when they are making extensive notes and attaching files. However, they can also use convenient swipe controls on their phone to mark tasks complete on-the-go. You can also filter the tasks in a project to view just those that are assigned to you, in the order of the nearest deadlines. These filtered views help make a large workload much more manageable. Progress bars on the thumbnails also help users visualize not only work to be done, but work that has already been accomplished.
All gamification relies on creating incentives for users to complete specific tasks. One of the most difficult area in which to motivate people, aside from the gym, can be the office. A repetitive routine can drain energy. Task-It offers a combination of year-round reward opportunities and specialty incentives. For example, users may become eligible for benefits like extra vacation days as they level up. The company may also promote a holiday incentive program, offering points for donations to a local food drive. Aside from earning points by completing assigned tasks, users can earn points as part of achievements. Users can browse the company achievement list and accept whichever achievement’s they’d like to complete for bonus points and/or rewards. These appear in the user’s list of personal goals. Users can check on their progress towards achieving these goals at any time, and display their earned achievements (Trophies) on their profile.
The final essential aspect of Task-It is community. Each user has their own profile, featuring a photo, personal statement, title, time spent at the company, Task-It level, trophies, recent activities, etc., and they can view each other’s profiles. Personal motivation is vital, but community motivation can make incentives all the more effective. Task-It encourages group motivation through competition among coworkers. For example, just as users can accept achievements as personal goals, they can also challenge other. This allows coworkers to compete directly with one another, rather than solely indirectly through leaderboards or monitoring each other’s points and achievements. Similarly, as a boss you can challenge employees to a specific task to offer them an incentive for improving a specific skill or habit.
In summary, Task-It serves as an example of the ways in which gamification can be applied to serious endeavors for positive results. The full potential of gamification is still being explored, but the boundaries are far from limiting. Task-It applies gamification as an incentive tool, as it is most often used, in this case to motivate employees. Gamification benefits the employees by making the work more manageable and integrating tangible rewards. Employers benefit from more engaged and productive employees. With gamification, even if it’s not a traditional game, everyone wins.