Motivation Game

At MegaCorp where I am currently working, there is a small team that is dedicated to find solutions to software bugs that regularly happen in production. The software system is very old and buggy, so it can get quite stressfull at times …

One thing users want is to get a daily email summarizing all the issues currently being looked after by this team, so that they can be sure that someone is looking into their problems. The trick is it is not always easy to take the time to write a nice and polished email when one feels completly overwhelmed by urgent stuff to do.

After trying many ways such as :

  • good will
  • every day checklist
  • ploting KPIs
  • physical threat (just kidding)

Nothing had worked … until entered the “Motivation game”. Here is the idea :

  • On A3 sheet of paper, print a funny comic (Dilbert and xkcd are my favourites)
  • Hide it behind post-its
  • Stick it on the wall, next to your whiteboard
  • Every day, during your stand up meeting, remove a post-it if someone sent the email the previous day
  • If no one sent the email, then cover up the current frame with post-its again

Here is what it looks like :

PS : We also set up a Kanban board with WIP limits in order to avoid the issues beforehand.