How to build a business case for gamification?

In a corporate environment, we often get asked to help influencers on how they can build a business case for gamification. A gamification project will require typically an investment that will raise a few questions as to whether this is money spent wisely or not. It is, therefore, a good practice to build a business case.


The first thing a business case should answer is why you think gamification is a good solution to help solve your business problem. The why can range from increasing engagement to decreasing staff turnover, to creating an overall better experience. Your reason why may also include age or demographic profile ideas. For each specific topic, there are a number of reasons why someone goes looking to solve it by adding game psychology and game mechanics into the mix.

Who else in your industry is doing it

The days of being a total pioneer because you are adding gamification into the mix are probably coming to an end in my opinion. But I guess I am dealing with it every day, which may make my judgement slightly clouded. In any case, there are now plenty of use cases for gamification in most work scenarios. When you are drafting up a business case, having other companies similar to yours engaging in this practice makes it less risky to venture down a similar path.

Where possible show numbers

Results numbers and impact numbers are notoriously hard to find and often spiced up by the marketing teams of vendors. Getting objective engagement and improvement numbers may mean doing some investigative research from people that have run projects internally or research institutes. More and more research is happening around gamification impact. Or by attending conferences focused on gamification in your field, you may find plenty of case studies or people willing to talk informally about the impact for their clients.

Address the key questions

Like in all projects, you would want to discuss your main objectives and targets in the business case. Then address the timeline, the scope and the budget required. If you have a project plan or at least a basic approach in mind that will help.

Build a high-level context

Having an idea of what the end result of your project could look like is useful. The high-level context, theme or storyline may well be the part that excites the business. We have definitely experienced this with our clients that the story is what received the biggest buy-in. We find images of other implementations really worthwhile, to make a concept come to life.

Know your decision makers

Like in all things in business, the better you know your decision makers and the kind of information they need, the more likely you are to be successful. Ask others in the company that have received the go-ahead for their project, how they persuaded the decision maker and what the person looked for.  It may take a little bit longer to do this but may increase the chances of securing funding a lot more.

Ask for help from your consultant

We often assist our client to generate a business case that helps them secure the funding for the project with us. We probably know the industry landscape quite well and can give you an educated view. We may also ask for a nominal fee for our know-how at the same time.

What does good gamification feel like?

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