The project game

or, Gamifying the software project.

The software project is a game. The team objective is to score the highest points for the project, where points are gained by accomplishing tasks within due parameters and lost otherwise.

Some elements of the game are:

  • Specifications
  • Milestones
  • Bugs
  • Deliverables: use cases, designs, wireframes, graphic assets, running code, bugs, text copy, translations, documentation, test plans, etc.

Each team member manipulates those elements over the course of the project. Such interactions are scored per member, and the cumulative project score is derived from them.

Player roles:

  • Analyst
  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Tester
  • Team leader
  • Devop

Grades are awarded upon the occurrence of events within the project's information system, based on rules. Examples of rules:

  • When a bug is "deployed production", the whole team gets N points.
  • If a bug is re-opened, its previous owner loses M points.
  • Depending on the age of the bug, the score awarded for its closing varies.
  • A deliverable "accepted" gets the deliverable collaborators X points.
  • When a build succeeds, devop gets Y points, or -Y if it fails.

In addition, other social gaming elements can be used:

  • "Liking" other member activities on the team stream
  • Badges obtained after repeated successful interactions
    although it's easy to slip into futility and cheesiness.

This scoring system should help quantify real-world project management objectives, by getting translated into KPIs for example.