!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Winning Ways in Business Gaming

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Winning Ways in Business Gaming

A brief article in the August 29 – September 4 edition of Mass High Tech provides a good overview of how companies are borrowing from the world of gaming to conduct some of their business.

The article's author, freelancer Dann Anthony Maurno, gives particular attention to IBM, which last year issued a report (pdf) on the subject of what business can learn about leadership from watching how people participate in massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs). In a sidebar (here slightly edited), Maurno summarizes the points of similarity between business and online gaming described in the IBM report, namely, both environments:
  • Bring together large numbers of participants in highly complex virtual environments.

  • Enable participants to self-organize, develop skills, and take on changing roles.

  • Require constant risk taking, iterative improvement, and willingness to accept failure.

  • Provide incentives that are clearly linked to contribution and performance.

  • Make participants' capabilities openly known.

  • Require collaboration and a leader who can influence collaborative approaches.

  • Provide sophisticated and varied communication channels (e.g., instant messaging, online chats and forums, voice over IP [VoIP]).
Maurno quotes George Dolbier, CTO of IBM Games and Interactive Entertainment, who observes, "The online community is teaching us you can accomplish large and complex goals" via teams working together with little supervision. Other achievements of game designers that have direct application in the business world are intuitive design and embedded support, which together contribute mightily to usability.


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