Tag Archives: #gamefulprojectmanagement

One Minute Read from the Turn Your No Into Yes

***

Here is the eleventh and last (for now) blog post in a series featuring videos on YouTube, where I read from one of my motivational books for one minute. Next week, I will start sharing another series of videos featuring my books.

In this video, I read from my book Turn Your No Into Yes: 15 Yes-or-No Questions to Disentangle Your Project.

I am reading from the short chapters titled “9. A Checklist for Your Project” and “10. Free Space in Your Checklist.”

Here it is if you want to read along, prior, or afterward.

***

Excerpt from the Turn Your No Into Yes

9. A Checklist for Your Project

Question 9:
Have you created a checklist for your project?

If not, do it. By now you will have gathered enough information to do so. And remember this checklist is a living document. Keep it close at hand and update it as soon as you think it time to do so. Don’t leave it for later. Follow your first impulse. The short updating of one point takes much less time than trying to get all the points together later. And it is always more accurate.

10. Free Space in Your Checklist

Question 10:
Have you left space to add more items or make changes?

If not, find the best format suitable for you and your customer and rewrite the checklist, allowing for the possibility of additions and changes.

And remember that along the way you might discover a new way of doing it. Don’t judge yourself for not having thought of it earlier. Just do it. Even returning to an earlier approach is a step forward, not backward.

***

The next step

To take the next step in boosting your entangled projects (and we all have those once in a while), I invite you to read Turn Your No Into Yes. To look at the book and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or this image below:

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to my page, Optimist Writer, on ko-fi for $5 a month, and besides supporting what I do, you will also get access to all my motivational books, which I share there once a month or each time a book is out. Right now, you can get access to four of my books there — one upon subscription or one-time support and three in the posts solely for subscribers. Turn Your No Into Yes will appear later this year or sooner upon explicit request from the subscribers.

I wish you a beautiful, productive, fun, creative, and gameful day!

One Minute Read from the Gameful Project Management

***

Here is the fourth blog post in a series featuring videos on YouTube, where I read from one of my motivational books for one minute.

In this video, I read from Gameful Project Management: Self-Gamification Based Awareness Booster for Your Project Management Success (Book 1 in series Gameful Life).

I am reading the extract from chapter (day) 11, “Gameful Project Management versus Project Management Gamification.”

Here it is if you want to read along, prior, or afterward.

***

Excerpt from the Gameful Project Management

When I first embarked on my adventure with Gameful Project Management, I couldn’t find many resources on approaching project management gamefully. I was searching for the following combination of words: “gameful project management.”

A bit later, still unable to believe that there could be nothing written on it, given how many gamified software solutions for project management there are, I searched for “project management gamification” instead. And sure enough, there were many articles, at least one master thesis, and various books addressing the topic of project management and gamification one way or another.

I started reading eagerly, determined to learn from, and quote as many of the sources as possible.

But the more I read, the more I felt I was moving in the “wrong” direction. A quote by the award-winning authors Ariel and Shya Kane, whom I have quoted previously, came to mind. They once said, “We have come to realize if we are not having fun, we are moving in the wrong direction.”

***

The next step

If you want to level up in turning your management skills to gameful and playful, and with that save your company, team, project, family, and yourself the costs of seriousness and drama, then read Gameful Project Management: Self-Gamification Based Awareness Booster for Your Project Management Success. To look at the book and buy it on Amazon, click on its title above or this image below:

If you want to see where else you can buy it, then go to the book’s page on this website here.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to my page, Optimist Writer, on ko-fi for $5 a month, and besides supporting what I do, you will also get access to all my motivational books, which I share there once a month or each time a book is out. Right now, you can get access to four of my books there — one upon subscription or one-time support and three in the posts solely for subscribers. Gameful Project Management will be one of the next books I will share there.

To discuss the possibility of one-to-one or small team coaching, contact me through one of the channels listed here.

Self-Management Is About Self-Support, Not Manipulation

(Image courtesy of the author; taken in January 2020 by the author’s then 5-year old daughter)

Successful leadership embraces management skills. But any successful manager is a successful self-manager.

And these successful managers and self-managers know that the best leadership and management is not about control and never about manipulation. It is focused on support. This also applies to self-management.

There are many aspects to management both when we manage teams, projects, or ourselves. We can use many different tools and techniques.

But any of those tools or techniques would not bear any fruit if you don’t concentrate on support for your team, project, and yourself.

The best way to support anyone— and you will know it from when you supported your children or younger siblings and friends when they were upset or needed to accomplish something and resisted it — is to turn the activity at hand into a fun game or play.

That includes management of any kind.

Here is an utterly simple tool to ignite the “idea-generating machine” in your head to approach management tasks — be it for the team, project, the whole company, or yourself — gamefully. Ask yourself the following question:

“If this [challenge, project, task, activity, chore] was a game, how would I approach it as its designer or player?”

Awareness and permitting yourself to be gameful and playful is all it takes to shift your focus from stressed and overwhelmed to supportive and creative.

I wish you joy with it!

If you want to level up in turning your management skills to gameful and playful, and with that save your company, team, project, family, and yourself the costs of seriousness and drama, then read my book Gameful Project Management: Self-Gamification Based Awareness Booster for Your Project Management Success (from “Gameful Life” series)

To discuss the possibility of one to one or small team coaching, contact me here:

E-mail: vib@optimistwriter.com

Join the Review Team for Gameful Project Management

I have some great news. I started releasing books in the series “Gameful Life.” Last week, Gameful Project Management went live as an e-book. The paperback will come out soon.

Thank you all, who expressed their interest in Gameful Project Management and the “Gameful Life” series. Thank you also for your support and exciting discussion on the topic. Note that the links and the picture above will lead you to the book’s page on Amazon. If you would like to see the book’s page on this site and see what other retailers have it on sale, then click here.

Even if the paperback is not out yet, you can already get a copy of the book, either by buying it as an e-book or by joining a Review Team. Taking we are having 2020, I have reserved 20 spaces in the Review Team. Several are already taken, thus please let me know ASAP (per e-mail to vib@optimistwriter.com) if you are interested in being part of it.

The book is short (105 pages); thus, you won’t be able to read much about it in the free sample. Therefore, I add here an excerpt from the introduction, letting you know what it is, what it is not about, who it is for, and what you could learn by reading this book.

What is this book about?

This book is an awareness booster.

That is what all non-fiction — especially those on personal and business development — and also some fiction books, video courses, documentaries, films, inspiring workshops, seminars, and conferences, as well as meet-ups with peers and friends, are. If we allow it, they can all boost our awareness of what else is possible, in addition to what we already know.

And that is what this book is about. I wrote it to raise your awareness of what is possible when you turn project management into Gameful Project Management; in other words, if you approach your projects, including the management of them, as if they were games, and as if you were both the designer and the player of these games.

What is this book not about?

And here is what Gameful Project Management is not about.

It is not an academic book.

Nor is it an exhaustive resource on the topic of Self-Gamification, which serves as the basis for Gameful Project Management. For an in-depth discourse on the Self-Gamification approach, go to Self-Gamification Happiness Formula.

This book is not about you buying new software or hiring new personnel.

We won’t be looking for the reasons you don’t feel as in control as you’d like over your projects, project management, or life.

This book is not about being too serious or demanding of yourself or your team. There is a word in project management that is often used: “accountable.” I feel it is sometimes used to add drama and exaggerate the need for precise recording of progress on a project, which is not always possible. And as a result, we put too much weight on the person who is expected to be accountable.

But excellence is not perfection. According to Elizabeth Gilbert, perfection is fear in disguise. Excellence is inherent to the gamers who enjoy the games they play. But there is no drama (or only jokingly expressed upsets) when they play games, while we seem to insist on loading our projects with drama and seriousness. So instead of putting too much weight and drama on project management activities, by claiming that they are vital and critical (which they might be in some situations, and not in others), you will learn how to address them lightly and gamefully, and at the same time with excellence and perseverance. After all, those who have fun with what they do, are successful at what they do.

Project management is about saying both “yes” and “no.” But we won’t be assigning things as either “good” or “bad.” I learned that if I keep things around for a while, then I want to do them, despite giving them all kinds of labels. The gameful approach that I address in this book will help you to put that labeling urge aside, and to view what you do as games instead.

The Gameful Project Management book is not about overthrowing the practices developed by the masters of project management. I was amazed to discover that project management knowledge has been collected worldwide for over 250 years. No, this book is not about replacing all this knowledge with a new approach, or distilling it in any way. It is about supplementing the essential project management toolkit.

Who is this book for?

This book is for everyone interested in making project management not only productive and effortless, but also fun.

What will you learn in this book?

You will learn about the synergy of anthropology (= awareness), kaizen (= small steps) and gamification (= bringing fun game elements into what we do). These three approaches are brought together by Self-Gamification, and when it comes to project management, by Gameful Project Management.

Here is why.

Without being aware of and appreciating what you have already achieved or what you have at your disposal, you won’t be able to grow. You need to know your “soil,” the “grains” and the “weather/landscape” conditions at this moment (not some future point), to identify the best next step to achieve the result you would like.

Without being willing to take a small step at a time, and to make only a little or no investment for each of these small steps, you won’t be able to grow continually. Instead, you will experience bumps.

Without adding a fun factor to what you do, without enjoying what you do, you will struggle to produce something that others will enjoy too.
By introducing these three skill sets, the book will equip you with simple tools to address any challenges you experience with your projects, and the management of them.

You will learn how to improve performance in your project management without considerable investments in expensive technology or new personnel.

You will find out how to achieve these improvements using what you already have at your disposal, and with minimal additional effort.
You might also experience what I did, when time and money were saved in a project — that the company I worked for as a sub-contractor received referrals, not only from their customer, but also from their customer’s client. The most fantastic thing about this achievement is that the only parameter changed was the gameful approach described in this book.

You will also discover that saving time and money comes as a natural result, as does the acquisition of new customers. These are the by-products of embracing the essence of Self-Gamification and Gameful Project Management.

For you, as the project manager, this essence is to approach each project and project management with awareness, in small steps, and gamefully.

Contact vib@optimistwriter.com to join the review team for Gameful Project Management.

Why Turning Project Management Into Games?

Reading time: 7 minutes

Let’s look at the reasons why it makes sense to turn project management, among everything else, into fun games.

The order below feels right to me right now (note: it’s not hierarchical), but you are free to read these reasons in the order that feels most appropriate for you. Each paragraph is a reason for itself. I numbered these reasons for your convenience.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Use the space at the end of the chapter to add your possible reasons why Gameful Project Management makes sense.

  1. Projects are building blocks of our lives. Most of our days have to do with projects, either work or on a personal level. So if we want to make our lives more joyful, then approaching the building blocks of our lives needs to be joyful too.
  2. Drama falls away in games. If we look at what we want or have to do as a game, then the stakes are not that high, are they? It’s just a game, isn’t it?
  3. We are less reluctant to start playing a game than say yes to a real-life project.
  4. We are less critical to ourselves in games. In games, we don’t dwell on bumping a car into a wall if we want to continue playing that game. Instead, we notice what happened, rear back, turn the car around if necessary, and carry on. We can do the same in our real-life “games” (including projects and project management activities).
  5. We are less afraid to fail in games. In fact, failures in games often are not considered as failures but steps to the win. That is true, especially for game design. All the discarded game designs are rarely regarded as failures. They are scarcely analyzed for why they “failed” at all. They are just the natural steps to that successful game design.
  6. When you see and treat whatever you are up to as a game, then you can better deal with fear and anxiety. Self-Gamification and its three components can help you to address and bypass fear and anxiety, which are as present in project management as they are in any other activity, in which we want to succeed. The more we want to succeed, the bigger the fear, both failing and succeeding, as well as what people might say in either of these two scenarios. But if what we do is just a game, then the fear diminishes considerably, and we are more willing to try again or try something new.
  7. And in games, you don’t stay upset for too long. If you do, then you stop playing the game. To continue playing, you need to put your upset aside and focus your attention on the next move in the game. Or to another game. Imagine how much easier real-life projects can become if you proceed with them in the same way. In real-life projects, you can do the same: acknowledge the upset and move on.
  8. When you don’t spend so much time on upsets and complaints as you did previously, then you save an enormous amount of time. I observed this consistently in many projects, which I turned into games. What happens then is that the projects or tasks are completed with much less effort than anticipated and often before the deadline (or at least on time). So you save also money in the process. And because of the great atmosphere in the project, and better results than expected, you might even get referrals, not only from your customer but also from your customer’s customers — all as the result of awareness, small steps, and gamefulness.
  9. When we see and treat our projects like games, which we both design and play, then we can stop seeing the challenges the project poses as hardship, but instead something to be addressed with curiosity and creativity.
  10. You might even become curious about something you resented before. You might observe yourself to be eager to start your work on that project now, just like you couldn’t wait to try out a new (or old but newly rediscovered) toy or a game when you were younger.
  11. It seems to us to be much easier to be present and give our best so in games. We don’t try to get done with the game if we enjoy it. And if we don’t have fun playing it, we either leave it for another game (or something else) or modify the design so that we enjoy it.
  12. As a game designer, you feel in control; you can be that in project management too. Because as a game designer of your projects and project management games, you can adjust one or both of the following: the way you approach them and the way you record the progress.
  13. Game designers are utterly resourceful. And you can be that too, in an instant, if you become aware that you are both the designer (or co-designer) and player (co-player) of your project games. If you consider anything you do as a game, of which you are the designer and the player, then you immediately become resourceful on how to adjust the flow of your work so that it becomes fun for you and all involved. With gameful practice, resourcefulness becomes effortless and extremely fun.
  14. Empathy is more natural in games, and we judge our partners in games less than partners and customers in projects.
  15. Turning your life into games allows you to treat yourself as your best (customer) player and at the same time, your favorite game designer, to whom you gladly give your feedback to make your favorite games even better. And when you treat yourself like that, you also treat others with kindness more consistently. The result of that might astound you, but it will not be surprising because people tend to mirror our behavior toward them.
  16. In games, we don’t resent recording or documenting our progress; in fact, we love it because, with each move of our figurine on a leaderboard, we get closer to winning the game. If you despise writing reports or creating and updating checklists, project (or business) plans, road-maps, and others, then seeing them as your project game feedback system can help. And then modifying these in a fun and creative way will help you put your resentment aside with almost no effort.
  17. Gameful Project Management enables low-budget, effortless, enlightening, and fun optimization of all facets of your project management. You might frown at this sentence, but this is precisely how the management of your projects and your time can become when you turn them into exciting games and treat yourself as if you were both the designer and the player of your project management games.
  18. Turning project management into games will not require you to buy a new software system or hire new personnel. Instead, you can concentrate on how you can improve your project management activities with what you already have at your disposal and with little additional effort. With a self-gamified attitude toward project management, you will become aware of what you need for your work (and even life in general) and make conscious decisions on what to do next. You will also acquire skills of gameful resourcefulness and motivation in any of the situations, including tight deadlines when increased motivation is hard to achieve but often needed.
  19. Games and game design are an endless well for creative solutions for project management. “The design and production of games involves aspects of cognitive psychology, computer science, environmental design, and storytelling, just to name a few. To really understand what games are, you need to see them from all these points of view.” — Will Wright in the foreword to Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster. So why not tapping into such a multidimensional and fun discipline for inspiration?
  20. Since games are fun and contain elements that contribute to our happiness, why not approaching all our projects and activities in such a way that they become fun, engaging, and entertaining for us in the same way the games do? If we use fun as the goal, compass, and measuring tool in our projects along with awareness and progressing in small steps, then quality, excellence, success, improvement, productivity, efficiency, and all the other criteria of a successful project and business will come naturally as by-products.
  21. Any project is already a game; we just might not always see them that way.
If you want to learn more:

Sign up to Optimist Writer’s Blog to follow the Gameful Project Management series.

Check out my coaching and consulting services to work directly with me.

Take a look into my book Self-Gamification Happiness Formula.

Go to this link for the list of all the resources I offer on Self-Gamification.