Visible joy in 7 minutes

Gamification is a hot topic on SAP’s internal social media channels these days.

You have to wonder why enterprise software developers are talking about gaming.  Or, if you’ve ever used enterprise software, maybe you know why – it has to be better than talking about SAP R/3!  A couple of years ago I wrote about the idea of Project Delight, and in follow up posts, I questioned whether it is possible to experience delightful engagement while working with mandatory enterprise applications.  I agree with trending discussions (both inside of SAP and elsewhere) that make the case that elements of social applications and gaming could transform enterprise systems in powerful ways.

SAP co-CEO Jim Snabe spoke about these ideas in a recent article on

Snabe added: “If I look at how my kids are consuming software, if it’s not desirable immediately, they throw it away. Can you imagine what happens to your IT landscape when these people come into business? I don’t know how you want to keep your IT strategy going so we’d better make our software delightful as well.”

The SAP co-CEO told the conference that he had also been inspired by a visit to games developer EA Games.  “They have one rule – if they don’t see visible joy in seven minutes the game will be a flop, so I told that to our developers: visible joy in seven minutes. We’re still working on that.

Visible joy in 7 minutes.  In the enterprise?  Yeah.  Yeah!  And I love that Jim is also using the term delight!

So what’s next?

Members of my User Experience (UX) team are trying to figure out how to draft off of all the great, positive, creativity energy in this arena right now.  At the same time, we are beginning to articulate the relationship between gamification and user experience, and how the two could work in concert to solve some of our current challenges.  We have some work ahead of us to meet the expectations of our co-CEO and our savvy, gaming SAP employees.  But this one, at least, should be a fun ride!

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