Gamification For Dedicated Training Sprints,
Skills Gap Analysis
As a stalwart global pharmaceutical company originating in Scandinavia over 100 years ago,
the firm now operates in over 50 countries and has more than 5,000 employees worldwide, with
the US market accounting for 63% of its revenues. The company’s products specialize in
Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders and are targeted at the disease areas of depression,
schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
With gamification/gaming receiving such a buzz in recent years, the US division wanted to bring
it to its learners across its sales teams in the neurology division. Its goal was to support a
continuous learning environment, encourage knowledge retention and identify skills gaps.
EARLY 2018 INITIATIVES
Two different learning “sprints” were set up in the Scrimmage mobile learning platform to support
the neurology group, by utilizing its robust gamification capabilities:
• In February 2018, gamification was set around its national meeting for knowledge
assessments, reinforcement and a team-building initiative.
• A second (different) game was set a few months later, “bouncing” off of the
March Madness basketball tournament. It was pushed out to 300 sales personnel
across the US, as a chance to conduct pull-through learning. This practice also
served as a key Gap Analysis for knowledge, with the focus on the content to
identify where new learning sprints, additional coaching needed to take place.
Five topics were configured within
each game module. Competition
was also supported on both
games. Twenty-five badging
opportunities were leveraged for
either individual performance, or
on the leaderboard. And, three
different leaderboards were
incorporated, along with the
standard leaderboard reporting
validation program to ensure all
rules are setup correctly and
points are flowing through as
Reporting was a key factor and
an extremely robust element with
this gaming application. Several raw templates were created, along with a schedule for automatic distribution to key stakeholders and custom
permissions/restrictions parameters. Activity summary reports offered additional data points,
including extensive content utilization reporting. Additional reports were also centered around
data on the games that each user played, who won and points earned. Dashboards, graphics,
pie charts and other dynamic visuals were provided for easy inclusion in presentations, or other
communication pieces. It should be noted a reporting needs assessment was conducted by the
Scrimmage team, as well, during implementation to be sure the essential reporting needs were
met for the client and to ensure the data was set-up and captured accurately.
Learning Stint #1 – Scrimmage’s Capture & “Brain Games”
First, in February 2018, at the National Meeting with an attendance
of 500+ team members, Scrimmage’s Capture game was a
showcase piece with thousands of interactions over a 5-day period.
It was customized for the entire neurology group and aptly
renamed, “Brain Games,” which tested knowledge on the company
itself, as well as its products.
The Capture game is based on a schedule of pulses. Players work to
complete pulses, in order to “capture” topics. Repetition in playing
the game matters too, players capture a topic when they answer
all of the questions related to that topic correctly, a pre-determined
number of times. Moreover, speed matters, as players have a set
amount of time to answer the given question - as time decreases,
so do the number of points. However, another unique feature to
this game includes life preservers that players can click on to
temporarily escape a question.
While Capture is an individual game, leagues were created for this
learning opportunity each with its own settings from: start/stop date & time; time available to
answer each question; number of times a learner must answer questions correctly to “capture”
the topic; what topic should be included in each Pulse; how players receive a notification that
they’ve been invited to join a new league and the schedule.
In-game reporting was similarly robust with leaderboards, levels and rankings by leagues and
individuals. Progress was also tracked to see how many times it took to answer a question
correctly to capture it, capture the topic. Likewise, reporting showed any life preservers and the
Capture, particularly with its timed and life preserver elements, shows if the knowledge is known,
or not. It can mirror real-world situations, as immediate answers show knowledge and
demonstrate confidence in one’s knowledge. The Capture game allows the player to see where
extra learning is needed in a practice situation vs. the real-world where one may not get a
second chance. Likewise, it offers management a window into where gaps in training, knowledge and skills exist.
Learning Stint #2 – Scrimmage’s Rival Game & “March Madness”
Next, Rival (the head-to-head challenge game), dubbed “March Madness,” was implemented
over the same 3 week period, as its namesake NCAA tournament. This tournament style game
had over 300 participants with 14 teams from the neurology group based on different sections/
regions of the country (i.e. New York/New Jersey, Texas, Mountain West, Gulf Coast, Pacific
Northwest, etc.). Its initiative was to create excitement, once again, following the national
meeting and be able to pull through the learning.
Rival created participation by pitting all 14 area teams against each other to find a ultimate
winner. The training managers were able to understand what they learned from the meeting,
what they didn’t learn and, most importantly, what resources needed the most support and focus
for the rest of the year. While the regions competed against each other, a leaderboard, along
with full reporting on the backend showed individual performance from correct answers (and
wrong answers) to the number of interactions.
How does Rival Work? Learners log-in to “Challenge” a colleague, if they had not already been
challenged. If there are no challengers presently in the game, player one still plays the game,
and player two plays when ready (an email alert is also sent to the player). Next, the player
selects a topic from several options and the game begins. It is fast and it is timed with 7 questions
(a variety of question types are supported). Custom images are included. Again, the pool of
questions was large, so they were highly randomized. Upon completion of the challenge, the
results of the game are shown to each player, once the second player finishes his/her game.
As the March Madness game was implemented specifically to identify and understand any
knowledge gaps, the focus for management was more on the incorrect answers and question
performance. The Reporting specifically offered insights into the content and how the questions
At the same time,
views were set-up, as a
reporting piece. They
included real-time visual
analytics on each of the
assessments and were
segmented by section,
question, or individual
OUTCOMES: SKILLS GAP ANALYSIS, ENGAGEMENT & GAMES PLAYED
Gamification was chosen and was an ultimate success because it incorporated and met a
number of goals including:
• It was mobile with quick spurts of learning, which limited time out of the field for the
pull-through of key learnings.
• It made the learning fun and engaging.
• It was a pro-active tool to easily identify skill gaps and new learning opportunities.
• It identified the effectiveness of the overall training strategies.
As the Field Training Manager noted, “Scrimmage’s gaming platform works for learning because it is fun and engaging, as opposed to being imposed on the sales reps. And, it uses the competitive nature of sales people to our advantage in Sales Training.”
Further, the practice identified skills gaps. In fact, with them playing and completing the Rival games, management learned exactly where the gaps existed and was able to address them when the March Madness initiative ended.In the end, a vigorous 54,383 answers were submitted across all of the games for the full 3-week period, among its 200 learners. The engagement was simply beyond expectations. Bottom line, the feedback from the gaming program across all stakeholders was incredible. By far, it was much more effective, engaging and fun than other follow-up methods used in the past.