Panda Adventures: How to Make SharePoint Adoption Fun with Gamification

This blog is the latest installment in Content Panda’s series depicting a company’s journey to adopt Microsoft SharePoint. Catch up by reading last week’s post 

John, Christine, and the rest of the CIEWG SharePoint champions have been working around the clock to blend classroom training and an online portal to ensure the first wave of SharePoint adopters, CIEWG’s new hire class, goes smoothly next week.   

Andrew, the CEO of CIEWG and executive sponsor of the SharePoint initiative, approved the investment for a third-party solution to help and training content enabling users to access information within SharePoint right when and where they need it. They also worked with this vendor to coordinate SharePoint training with CIEWG’s in-house education specialist.  

“This is great! We have our trainers, knowledge repository, and schedule all set,” John said excitedly to the rest of the SharePoint champions. “Now all we need to do is sit back and let the magic happen.” 

The group laughed. “Not so fast, John,” Kathy said. “We need to add some competition and gamification to help ease adoption. A slick training portal is great, but it is just one piece of the puzzle. We need to make it clear that using SharePoint is fun as well as functional.” 

“Gamification? Is that even a word?” John asked. He looked to Gwendolyn to see if she had any idea what these millennials were talking about.  

As Kathy was about to respond, Bryan stepped in. “We’re introducing a new way to work to this fresh crop of new hires,” he said. “By creating friendly competition, it’s a different way to make this new approach stick for months and years to come.” 

The group agreed they would need to share the enthusiasm they had with everyone around them in order to make adoption of SharePoint that much faster (and easier). That’s when Kathy gets to work, pitching a series of events all tying into an animal kingdom theme with Hope the Panda as the mascot.  

“Why don’t we create an online scavenger hunt?” Christine asked. “We put the new users through their paces, asking them to load documents up to their OneDrive, access libraries used by other departments to find specific pieces of information, send links to content in emails instead of attachments, things like that.” 

“That’s a great idea,” Kathy replied, writing it down on the whiteboard in John’s office. “We can use an animal-slash-zoo theme since our associates will be navigating what they think is a jungle.” 

The group brainstormed how they would incentivize those who win the games such as the scavenger hunt, including gift cards to local barbecue restaurants on Beale Street, free passes to Memphis Zoo, and Starbucks gift cards.   

“This is great,” Gwendolyn chimed in. “It’s important that we give recognition to our associates every time they use SharePoint correctly. Oftentimes we slap wrists when people are wrong, but we don’t inspire them when they are right. I really like this plan!”  

Andrew suddenly appeared at the entrance to John’s office. “You know I love a good party,” he said with a chuckle, “but we need to make sure these events all make people interact with SharePoint so they can experience its value first hand. It has to tie back to our vision of making SharePoint an integral part of the way CIEWG works. I love what you’re coming up with right now, but let’s keep that top of mind. Do we have enough time to put this together? New hires start next week.” 

The SharePoint champions all started talking over each other, reassuring Andrew this would work. “Yes, we will be ready for next week,” John said. “We give the new hires a week to use it so we can see what works and what we need to fix. That way, we’ll have a preliminary set of metrics and stories we can share at Microsoft Ignite, while also improving the experience for the next wave of adopters.”  

Satisfied with John’s answer, Andrew left the room. As Bryan sent links to his favorite barbecue restaurants, the rest of the group got to work putting the fun back into SharePoint adoption.   

Tune in next week to find out how the CIEWG SharePoint adoption is progressing as they race to deploy before Microsoft Ignite. Want to learn how you can deploy a complete online user experience to deliver SharePoint help content in-context? Sign up for a free trial today.   

*While the story mirrors a typical SharePoint deployment, the people, places, and company names used are all fictitious. No pandas were harmed in the making of this blog series, either.   

Read the next chapter - Adapting to Human Nature: Measuring Results, Sharing Feedback & Iterating the SharePoint Rollout

Written by Co-Founder and CMO, Heather Newman

Once a month we share expert opinions on end user adoption, Office 365 and SharePoint that we like from our community.  Receive our next issue by signing up here.