Rypple, the startup trying to improve enterprise performance review process, has been adding gamification loops to its application.
This was highlighted by Daniel Debow, Rypple’s co-CEO, in an interview with GigaOm and a recent slide deck on the opportunities and pitfalls of enterprise gamification. Some of their excitement around gamification is shared with their customers, including famously Facebook, as they have named a product feature around a game design technique Loops.
In this review I want to focus on their use of goals and badges within the context of the core application.
Setting a goal makes real sense for a manager working within the context of a performance review. Being able to define the name of the goal, attribute an inspiring icon to it, and detail how success will be measured is eminently sensible. Social features allow you to pick colleagues to contribute and comment on the goal as it moves towards completion.
Measurement of the goal is not gamified as it does not link back to the actual tasks that someone is performing, as opposed to say, a goal within Pailz. However simply the act of setting the goal is in itself a use of game design (being able to clearly see objectives and how you will be measured against it). With strong validation on the goal form to strip out wishy washy goal setting, this could be a tool that all management from senior to junior could use.
Assigning badges to colleagues in your own team is a real strength of Rypple. In a few moments you can “Give thanks” to a co-worker and choose a badge to symbolise it. The coworker gets a positive email and also knows that you think they are worthy of a ninja, inspiration or thanks badge. With the badge can also come a set of skills which they can then display mastery of on their profile.
Badges too will benefit from Pailz style measurement of actual tasks against badge requirements (number of bug tickets closed to become a developer ninja) for example.
Rypple as an application for performance review is definitely worth exploring. I think it’s still 12-24 months ahead of its time, in particular as integration with other apps is what will give it its real strength. As the rest of the small business web and enterprise application tools evolve (whether that’s a Salesforce, Pailz or Unfuddle) to be able to surface scores, points and other tangible measures, Rypple will then be there to bring it all together into an always-up-to-date performance review.