The snakes and ladders of gamification

Lessons to your workplace gamified inspired and realistic.

Take a fresh perspective

Take a fresh perspective

There is a lot of buzz in the field of gamification. Not least because we at JAMSO also share ideas, tips and share case studies and theories.

Yet for every success story within gamification, there is an increasing pile of failures. These inspirational ladders of success are challenged by the realities of occasional failures. At JAMSO, we call that “The snakes and ladders of gamification”.

Exploring the snakes of gamified workplaces.

Many implemented gamification projects across the workplace have become simply another old method, dressed up and rebranded.

For example, leaderboards on their own are simply rebranded as gamified performance. Some managers then are disappointed when motivation and engagement levels remain the same as before. – No surprise then, when the leadership responds to a question about gamification as “Yes, we tried that and it didn’t work”.

Well, that’s like jumping on a horse and expecting it to outperform a Formulae E car!

The promise of some companies to simply bolt on a gamification software package to your performance management or ERP system will suddenly transform the business is nothing short of delusional. You will fall to a snake of disappointment unless this is also linked to a wider strategy.





Building the ladders for gamification success.

You see, the reality is that gamification is like any other significant change in the business culture and workplace; it requires vision, consistency, persistence, values, principles, rules, accountability, structure, resources and training. Now with a list like that suddenly one starts to understand the size and scale of the undertaking. It needs to be a strategic decision for a ladder to success, not a snake poisonous single act tactical deployment.

Gamification should be a strategic decision for a ladder to success, not a snake poisonous single act tactical deployment.

At JAMSO we can help you ensure you have a fun checklist to avoid the pitfalls of poor gamification projects. So, we decided to team up with and produced a fun sheet to ensure you remain on the ladder of success.

Free PDF Dynamic Check List

Here you can print out the pdf (subject to joining our monthly newsletter first), and use the numbered boxes to drive better action, questions, considerations, and balance or skew action where needed.

How it works: Simply register for our monthly newsletter and download the pdf sheets. Once printed, just trim off the white edges and assemble them in the correct order (check the numbers in the squares for reference). Then tape the sheets together along the seams and hey presto you have your gamification snakes and ladders management framework template tool and checklist.

FAQ’s for the gamification snakes and ladders framework template tool.

Who should use the framework template?

Anyone and any organization who is seeking to create review their current gamification projects, seeking inspiration for new ones. Also for any leader interested in the field of gamification.

This can also be used as part of your gamification quality audit process to ensure most of the important key elements are included.

Extract from the free download template

Extract from the free download template

Can this be applied in the actual game design and narrative?

Yes, part of the template model was designed to encourage a detailed but broad framework of areas. Due to equal numbers per box, we have performed a slight weighting approach in the design near certain snakes and ladders.

Does this template also work as a training tool?

Absolutely yes. The design also is applied during our own client workshop training to stimulate discussion points and be part of your change management actions.

Is this a game or a template?

You can use this goal template as both a game and static template for inspiration. Using the snakes and ladders concept as a game helps identify and remind us of the core elements needed within gamification success. Using the framework, we offer some insights on how to use each square as a mechanism and resource toolbox.

What suggestion do you have currently for a gamification manager?

Use the framework as a reminder and question driver when reviewing and designing business gamified projects and eLearning.

What is the number and word order significant?

We have included the core elements of the whole game to allow random chance. However, some strategically placed words have been designed into the game to ensure their relevancy is underlined.

Are other free templates available at JAMSO?

Yes, we have already released a similar outline for free public distribution within the field of metrics. We will be publishing similar free downloads for our 3 core business areas of metrics, goal setting and this one for gamification. We have a pool of material that we also deploy during our own workshops and training material. Most of our other material will remain for paying clients only, so if you want it – contact us.

A case study use of this gamification template at work. Part1:

Andrea works in the HR department and Morten works for Operations for a small family software business of 40 staff. Their business owner allowed the sales manager to introduce “gamification” but the sales figures and performance did not change much over the following 9 month period.

The owner decided to have Andrea, Morten, and the sales manager work together to review why the failures occurred and how to improve sales performance for the last quarter of the financial year.

Not all sales travel is required in an age of technology

Not all sales travel is required in an age of technology

It was clear from initial reviews that the gamification roll out within sales was only a silo activity in specific areas of leaderboards and badges awarded for lower travel expenses.

Using the JAMSO gamification snakes and ladders template tool and framework, the three used it as a checklist audit and gap analysis of the existing project and listed the most key missing areas.

Andrea took charge of creating a new narrative and business alignment storyline. Morten helped provide some lean thinking into the game design and requirements of administration by the players and sales manager. The sales manager reviewed profitability areas and recreated a broader scope plus faster feedback loop for the sales force.

They rolled out the changes now with only 2 months left for the financial year. The business owner allowed an extra incentive and reward to promote the revitalized project and sales soon started to convert better.  

The working relationship between Andrea, Morten the sales manager and business owner was strengthened after working together in a collaborative manner. This was felt across the business in meetings and daily interactions. As a positive surprise, the salesforce also responded with a significant reduction in their travel expenses and new positive ideas to improve sales in future.

Going beyond the game and towards fame. Part 2:

The business reporting system was amended to embrace the theme of the gamification project. Indeed new motifs and characters were deployed on performance dashboards and were soon making an appearance as a brand enhancement on the business website.

The business owner decided to invest in more gamification training and extended the skills to all managers and new skills for Andrea. Morten is working on a project to integrate gamification deeper into the business operations and is expected to be provided sufficient financial resources to support it in the following financial year cycle.

It is expected that this business management team will develop the template model to a more advanced level over the next 24 months. They will use external consultants to keep their skills and strategy on track and up to date with best practice.


This great gamification template tool can be used with your existing or future planned projects. Feel free to change or amend the style into a periodic table, standard checklist or Venn diagram of key success element. The design of this game matters less than the action and method of implementation that you use.

The design of this game matters less than the action and method of implementation that you use.

Definition of gamification

Definition of gamification

Beware of the snake traps provided from poor gamification implementation. Ensure a broad and detailed level of skill and overview remains an integral part of your gamification activities if you wish to join the ladders of its success.

JAMSO is dedicated to your success. We would love to hear your own unique success story or any questions you have on this free gamification template. Just send us a message or drop a comment below and we will help as much as possible.

If you are looking for a third party consultancy to help stimulate change and boost gamification performance then contact us straight away for our global services.