In order to get the most out of your MiniGame™, it's essential to clearly communicate all elements of the MiniGame to the players to ensure that everyone is on the same page, has a line of sight toward the goal, can easily tell if they're winning or losing, and who's accountable.
GUY Engineering, a professional services firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, presented an excellent example of a MiniGame at the "Show Me Your MiniGame" session at the 26th Annual Gathering of Games. Their MiniGame hits all the essential MiniGame elements: establishing a specific, timely, achievable goal through a MiniGame, making the information available for everyone, motivating their team with fun and memorable prizes, and rallying everyone around the goal to achieve results.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
A baseball theme with each week equating to an inning.
The MiniGame objective was to help all employees develop an awareness of billable hours. Each week, the company encouraged employees to focus on tracking their number of billable hours and strive to make an increase from their baseline number.
By working extra hours or replacing an hour of overhead with a billable hour, the team would contribute to revenue, and in turn, improve their Critical Number™ of revenue labor ratio.
All employees entered their time as usual in the time tracking system. Every day, a member of the MiniGame planning team sent an email noting the billable hours for the week, and also updated posters around the office. Each week, after time units had been verified and any corrections made, the planning team announced the final number of billable hours and distributed the weekly prizes.
Every week the team exceeded 825 billable hours, they "won" the inning and employees received a small baseball-themed prize such as a package of cracker jacks or an inflatable baseball bat.
- Five innings won earned a baseball-themed company-wide party with hot dogs and a wiffle ball game.
- Seven innings won earned a sno-cone truck at the party.
- Winning all nine innings added a dunk tank to the party, with one of the vice presidents volunteering to be in the tank.
- Meeting the stretch goal of an average of 850 billable hours per week over the course of the MiniGame earned every associate a GUY baseball jersey.
Results, Takeaways, and Benefits
Financial benefits of the MiniGame included an increase in billable hours by 7.73% which led to a 10% increase in revenue over the first quarter, or $109,247. In addition, their revenue labor ratio (the Critical Number) increased from 1.65 in the first quarter to 1.79 in the second quarter. This upswing has continued into the third quarter.
John Blickensderfer, president at GUY Engineering, reports that the MiniGame energized everyone in the company. "It was easy to understand, simple to implement, and everyone in the organization was able to participate. Even people who weren't usually billable were able to contribute as the billable folks realized they could ask for help with tasks such as binding and printing."
The MiniGame also increased camaraderie and friendships of the work team, as everyone worked together to reach the billable hours goal. "We all thoroughly enjoyed the weekly prizes and the baseball party, and the dunk tank was a VERY popular motivator," says John. "Although we lost the last inning by just a few hours and did not win the dunk tank, it will definitely appear again as a prize in a future MiniGame. And instead of being discouraged about losing that final inning, employees took the initiative to bring water guns and water balloons to the party and stage an epic company-wide water fight."
This MiniGame was presented and selected as a winner of the "Show Me Your MiniGame" session at the 26th Annual Gathering of Games. Here, our practitioners had a chance to pitch their most successful MiniGame to a group of seasoned judges to see how it stacked up. Our judges selected two finalists, including GUY Engineering's MiniGame above, to present on the Gathering main stage to share their best MiniGame with the entire conference. See the slides presented by GUY Engineering's John Blickensderfer here.
GUY Engineering is a consulting firm with extensive experience in civil engineering and land surveying. Since 1987, GUY has been providing quality design work on hundreds of projects ranging from roadway and bridge designs to water distribution and sanitary sewer improvements throughout the state of Oklahoma. GUY Engineering has earned a spot on Great Game's All-Star Team from 2016 - 2019, and you can learn more about their story in their 2019 Case Study.
Check out the Gathering of Games Agenda & learn from others in the "Show Me Your MiniGame" session, back by popular demand at the 27th Annual Gathering of Games.
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