The blueprint for gamification project management success

What it takes to be a good Gamification Project Manager

A great gamification project manager in action

A great gamification project manager in action

The needs for business to continually raise productivity levels means the balance between project meetings, system updates, and milestone meetings plus prioritization lobbying are key parts of the day for any project manager, for the gamification project manager it is just the same.

Your approach is often met with some mild misunderstanding, cynicism for your project or embraced with enthusiasm.

The art and science of your actions are to ensure these happen whilst in control of the scope, strategy and tactical details to deliver on time and on budget.

What Traits Must your Gamification Project Manager Possess?

Although the range of deployment areas for gamification varies, there remain some key skills and characteristics required across the spectrum of deployment. You may need additional skills for specific areas from HR to Sales to Design or Logistics!

Effective Communication Skills

The is a difference between what is said and what is understood. It is a key trait to ensure an effective communication mechanism is deployed for your project. For some areas of the business this might be a simple verbal update, for others, a need for a deeper report is required.

Understand your audience and stakeholders and then ensure your communication style matches clear and effective results.

Part of communication is also listening and understanding people’s behaviors. The regional, personal and cultural needs are different and so a diverse communications toolbox is needed especially for large international companies.

Status Aware

Being able to provide swift answers to questions is not simply a matter of having a grasp of details; it requires establishing an oversight system to allow rapid insight to current status and actually being interested enough to rapidly answer questions for each area.

Risk Management

Skydivers ready for freefall

Skydivers ready for freefall

In skydiving, we prepare for every eventuality both known and possibly as a curveball. This risk management approach has taken the sport from a dangerous one to statistically being safer than horse riding. The same applies to your project management of your gamification task.

Having an understanding that setbacks, mistakes, errors, and delays are natural in any project, this is different than being prepared to respond to them once they occur. Having great risk management questions and scores of risk chance helps the manager prepare and minimize the consequences of unplanned situations.

Being an effective organizer and personally organized.

Understanding stakeholders and your own priorities are as important as understanding what needs to be done. So, simply have great project management software and the system will not be enough if the work within it does not happen at the correct cadence, order, and quality.

It is important to develop your own reputation as an effective key player and a seriously effective doer. This means small details such as sending our agendas on time, only cc on emails when needed and creating positive atmospheres of action is needed.

Has great empathy whilst remaining assertive.

The gamification project manager needs to have personal empathy yet remain persistent and assertive enough to get the job done.


If you have a reputation for getting things done and not being a time waster, then people typically respect that and pull their own performance to at least your level.

The key here is to motivate and inspire through positive example and encouragement.

Establishing personal relationships and insights of each person is a powerful and rewarding part of project management. So, don’t just try to get along with others, find a way to connect and ensure they become likable as much as you.

Being aware of change management process steps will help you clarify unmentioned questions or concerns. So, apply Deming’s Plan – Do – Check – Act for relationships as much as processes.

Management through Leadership

A good gamification project manager needs to be also a leader. Leading through behaviors and initiative whilst a proactive problem solver helps boost the success rate of your “winning team” mentality.

Works well under pressure with a real-world perspective

One of the most common frustrations for project managers is their lack of ability to simply get stuck in and do some other people’s work by themselves. This can also become an acute emotion when running close to deadlines and simple tasks require just a minor adjustment or action.

So, it requires the person with the tough skin of a rhinoceros to cope well with a deadline and personal pressures. Adopting some prepared coping mechanisms for these scenarios is a great toolkit to help you and others engaged with the project.

Some quick tips to help include:

A random market scene in Bolivia - Perspective!

A random market scene in Bolivia - Perspective!

·         Take a break or take a walk.

·         Control what you can control first.

·         Check for cognitive bias and emotions versus critical thinking.

·         Get some help if you need it.

·         Take a holistic build work perspective view of the challenge.

You are a change agent.

Remaining positive and open-minded is critical to continued success. External or internal change may impact your projects yet it remains with you to manage their outcomes in a positive manner.

A balance needs to be taken between allowing sufficient change and its pace plus how this impacts your collaboration and process steps.

Ongoing development

The secret sauce for success with a great gamification project manager is the ability to develop continually new skills, methodologies and experience. Some examples of where growth will often occur the fastest include:

·         Personal resources and examples that assist to meet strategic objectives and goals.

·         Time-saving systems and techniques.

·         Checklists for key project steps.

·         Automating reports and actions.

·         Review of skills needed to be developed and sharing skills that can be deployed with others.


We have provided the key essential of what it takes to be a great gamification project manager. The list could be extended and is similar to many project management needs

Being consistent and realistic at each phase of your project starts from the initial concept and finishes at the end of your project debrief and review.

Cake celebration

Celebrating success and showing gratitude to all stakeholders and participants is equally important for your future relationships and allows time for people to reflect on their own personal contributions and change.

We hope this provides sufficient motivation for you to maintain your drive to get your gamification project done well.

JAMSO helps implement and supports gamification projects. We love to hear your questions, experience, and interest.