Here's an excellent article from super-program-manager Tanya Ivanova, who works for Waverley Software in the Ukraine.

I believe and I can prove that work should be fun. And most of you have heard of the gamification things and how useful they can appear in day-to-day project management. So here is some practical receipt that you can use as is or modify whenever you want ( I wouldn’t get offended, I promise)

Well, here we go...





1) Make sure your team members have something to regularly be proud of.

This can be tasks accomplished, challenging problem solved, paper tossed right into the basket =) but don’t get far away from useful wins =) try to appreciate those affecting team progr

2) Then scream and dance when you succeeded!

Ask guys not to be too shy when this moment appears! And, of course, show an example: example of happily dancing manager after successful demo, or when you managed to fight against scope changes in the middle of the sprint. This can be a traditional “winner dance” used by all of your team or unique expression of happiness for each. But it needs to be visible! I can scream “I’m the master of the world, boo-ha-ha” or just stand up and do moonwalk.

3) And now, the most important, when someone celebrates his win, rest of the team shall give an applause. Clap loudly for your team-mate moment of glory =) Yes, it is Moment of Glory, not less, so give this feeling to your team members, they deserved it.

That’s it =) Repeat each time someone did a great job =)

A few comments more...

When you have such a gorgeous appreciation system working, you, for sure, would need something opposite – way to acknowledge dumb mistakes or failed team work that doesn't embarrass or belabor the mistake.  Allow the team to laugh together while still understanding that a mistake was made.

Buy a stupid hat, or Blondie doll (people with light hair, I do understand that you are as smart as people with all other colors of hair, even those who do hair dye), or Gold medal for ‘anti-clever solution’ … Turn your imagination on! Try to remember what word is used in your team for such “hits” and give it a material symbol. This should be used as award going from one person to another =) But don’t forget of #3 – give an applause for it as well. Mistakes teach us and make more accurate. So let’s appreciate them as well.

Well, I would let you think if it is useful or not on your own. Let me just list some questions that you might want to answer:


  • If someone doesn’t do winner dance for a long time, what shall I do as PM? What it can mean?
  • Number of winner dancers vs team performance, any correlations?
  • If this is a help in team building process?
  • Do team members know exactly who did a great job? And why one or another is getting appreciation from top managers, for example.
  • Will it add more fun to the work?