#1 How to add Gamification to your documentation drive?


What gets you excited about completing a task?

Is it complexity, reward, or the sense of accomplishment?

We are creatures of emotion. ❤️ That feeling you get when you have achieved something, it's because you have a surge of dopamine in the brain. It's responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. Dopamine is an extremely powerful neurotransmitter, that triggers these "feel-good" emotions. An interesting fact about dopamine is that it is also triggered when we play games! ⚡️

As leaders when you are on a mission to motivate your teams to get engaged with a new initiative, gamification is a powerful tool at your disposal. In this week's digest, I wanted to share with you some principles of Gamification 101 and a guide on how you can leverage gamification in your org to hit those success metrics.

Many of our DataOps champions talk to me about a common challenge: "Our entire team agrees that documentation is important, but... it always takes the back seat. How do we create a documentation culture in the team?"

My answer is always the same: A documentation culture is exactly that… a “culture”. It’s a set of shared practices, beliefs, values, and ways of doing things. And, as a lifelong student of team building and culture, I firmly believe that culture doesn't just "happen" (and HBR seems to agree with me).....Culture can be deliberately created and encouraged.

In today's community digest, I want to highlight the amazing work of Sara Swart and Petra Pechovska from Monster in using gamification to make the process of creating glossary terms and aligning of data definitions a ton of fun.

Here are some pro-tips from their experience:

  • Create a gamification drive with a clear goal: In Monster’s case, Sara and Petra set a clear goal: get to 100 "verified" terms in 10 weeks ⚡ from a team of 14 data champions
  • Launch with oomph: The team announced an Airpods Pro for their most engaged stewards & a team lunch for the winning data squad 🎉
  • Encourage some healthy competition: Our team leveraged Atlan’s APIs to automate weekly personalised leaderboard emails to every data champion 🏆
  • Creating channels of engagement: a common #stewards-corner slack channel, some fun raffles to create energy and regular callouts in existing community channels like their Looker User Community Event

A detailed best practice article is live on the community site ❤️ Huge shoutout to Sara & Petra for contributing to this best practice to the community! Check it out here.

Separately, I'm spending a ton of time thinking about gamification as a tool to drive user behaviour & data culture — if this is something you’re thinking about or have ideas for, I’d love to grab a (virtual) coffee!

Speak soon,