Interview with Bart Hufen

Interview with Bart Hufen

gamification

/ˌɡeɪmɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/

noun

the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.

“gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun”

Bart Hufen is author of several books on Applied Games and Gamification and CEO of BrandNewGame.

Games can be this:

bart2

-or- can be this:

bart

Bart creates ideas to help his clients to progress their business. He does that by changing the behavior of people using game mechanics. Enter the world of GamePlan.

We are really excited to have him in Agile Greece Summit 2016 and looking forward to his speech. Did you get your ticket?

Bart Hufen

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Bart, I create ideas to help our clients to progress their business. We do this by changing the behavior of people using game mechanics. I wrote two books about the potential and practical use of games and game mechanics and their effects in business. My first book ‘A Brand New Playground’ can be downloaded for free from our website BrandNewGame.com.

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

My talk will be about my new book ‘Playing on the job’ (available in English in 2017). I explain briefly our Game Plan for organizational transformation and continuous progress. The most important model in that book is the ‘Progress-loop’, which is based on the game loop of FarmVille. It describes four processes (or actions) that you should manage as a company (or as a person). They are: think, make, sell and improve. For some reason a lot of organizations find it hard to continuously improve. BrandNewGame develops digital tools to help them with that.
If we have enough time I will also explain the ‘GameStorm’ methodology which we use to help one of the biggest European ‘sneaker and sportswear’ retailer in Europe. Eight-hundred store managers played this game to get insights in their most dominant obstacles for change. They defined behavior that held them from changing and delivered nine ideas to start the change in the following three months. This particular company achieved their best revenues the year after we executed the GameStorm…

Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session?

People will understand the power of game mechanics for agile transformation. I hope their eyes will open up to the great impact that feedback and fun can have on how people function.

Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organizations that are transitioning to agile?

Don’t forget to have fun doing it. A lot of companies have a lot of stress to arrange the daily hassle and to get stuff done. Let alone that they have the energy and power to change. Don’t forget that you spend 40 hours every week in the office with colleagues and clients. For me, working should always be fun. That’s why we develop serious games and gamification systems to make processes more fun and functional (that’s the serious part ;-). People perform better when having fun.
Also start stupid simple and small. Make your first step towards change easy and fun. Also: don’t talk about change – talk about improvements. And never consider it a project, consider it to be a continuous process that never ends.

Q: How do you see the evolution of Agile in the future?

Hopefully, people will add more gamification elements to change and transformation. We invite them to use our methods, like the GameStorm to help clients. We can start planning ‘train the trainer’ sessions as soon as people are ready for them. We are very much looking for partners across Europe.

Q: You have given many interviews/presentations about agile. Is there a question you wish to have been asked but no one ever asked you?

Actually, I am not a classic agile consultant, nor is BrandNewGame an agile consulting company. We develop gamification systems and serious games to help companies progress, continuously. It was Ahmet Åkdag (ACM Software) from Turkey who introduced me to the agile community three years ago. Then I got to speak during Bosnia Agile Day and Agile in Africa. Apparently with impact ;-). I guess I would ask someone something unexpected, like: “What’s your favorite color?”. Just for fun. Personally I don’t have one, hahaha.

Q: What you like to say something in advance to the Greek Agile community?

First of all, I love Greece and Greek people. They are always full of energy and know how to have fun. I spend great vacations on Corfu in the past. I hope agile will be implemented within the Greek government, so we can get out of this crisis together.
On that note: We are actively looking for official ‘resellers’ of the GameStorm methodology and Game-Plan transformation tool. I hope people will reach out during and after the conference. This is why we stay over for the weekend to discuss more opportunities (and enjoy the fantastic Greek culture and weather ;-).

Get your tickets for Agile Greece Summit 2016

Agile Greece summit 2016

George Psistakis

I am a lousy singer and painter. Co-founder of the easiest data management platfrom. Ever… Blendo (www.blendo.co).
– I love Agile. Got certified as a Scrum Master and, along with more friends, a founding member of AgileGreece.org (http://agilegreece.org/).
– I like community management and I am co-organizer of the API Athens (http://www.meetup.com/
API-Athens/) and the Agile Greece (http://meetup.com/Agile-Greece/) meetups.
– I do some blogging too and contribute to Developer Economics and write my own blog.