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How Do You Make a Major IT Conversion Successful? …Gamify it Using Visuals!

The Challenge

How can converting to a new banking system and changing the way 500 employees accomplish their work be turned into an engaging, and even fun, activity?

This was the question the team at Valley First Credit Union asked themselves as they considered how to equip staff with the information they would need to make the transition to their new banking system. They knew success depended on employee advocacy and readiness for the new technology, and that tried and true internal communication methods like email and intranet were not going to cut it.

The team challenged themselves to do something entirely different, to keep the focus on the user, and to go the extra mile to be creative.

The Solution 

The Valley First team decided the best way to get everyone on board with the conversion was to make a game out of it. “Quest” was the name of the banking system they were converting to, which made a journey metaphor the perfect framework for gamifying the process.

Get The Picture was brought in to create the Quest Map (see image below) that would serve as the game board employee teams used to track their progress towards a successful banking system conversion. We worked with the project communication team to envision the layout and imagery then created a large-scale custom map, which was scanned to provide a high-quality jpeg file. The maps were reprinted and each branch was given their own copy of the map.

quest map - may 19 2016 resize

The conversion process was broken down into six phases, and each phase was assigned a Quest Guide who was a well-known master or hero from popular movies. On the Quest Map there was a question mark at the beginning of each phase, since the Guide for each successive phase wouldn’t be unveiled until the team was ready to progress.

At the beginning of each phase, every team received a package that included a letter from the Quest Guide outlining the tasks they would need to complete, a sticker of the Quest Guide, a task list to place over the question mark on the map, and a Quest artifact/trinket connected to the Quest Guide. The Quest Map also showed an obstacle and a path to success for each phase. The team only encountered the obstacle if they didn’t follow the advice given by the Quest Guide in the letter. Those who completed all tasks were led along the path of enlightenment to eventual victory.

The Impact 

The response to the Quest game was unlike anything the project team had seen before! The teams in the branches became really involved in the game. Some teams organized theme days, dressed up in costume, and even brought action figures and other memorabilia connected to the Quest characters into their branches. The fresh approach created a high level of awareness throughout the organization about what was happening with the conversion, mainly because people were engaged and actually wanted to receive the messages.

The key benefits of the Quest game were that:

  • A high level of engagement was created with employee teams.
  • Important messages about preparing for the conversion really sunk in.
  • People frequently referred back to the messaging.
  • The staff was clear about where they were in the conversion timeline, and in their particular role.The project team used a variety of different avenues to communicate with the employee teams.
  • Everyone was having FUN!

The Result

Naturally, the banking system conversion was a success! Thanks to the teams’ excitement and engagement with the Quest game, the conversion process happened smoothly over a weekend, with minimal disruption for Valley First Credit Union members. The process was much more collaborative for the team leading the project, the gamification process tapped into each team member’s talents and strengths, and the overall project was a huge win for everyone involved.

Is there a change process or other project happening in your organization that could use some gamification? Challenge yourself to take a unique approach that’s effective and fun. Feel free to reach out to us here if you need ideas about how to gamify your change initiatives.

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