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Author and chief editor of the effizine, online magazine for busy professionals desperate for getting things done efficiently

TaskBeat Gamification

Recently we’ve published a new version of TaskBeat running a new algorithm measuring productivity of each member of our team. I’ve decided to share with some insights of how it works.

TaskBeat Gamification

TaskBeat opens the default view with a leaderboard showing each member’s Kudos and Karma. Kudos is measured as a number of points achieved by each team member in a due course of doing work. I’ll explain the concept of Karma later on.

As of starters I wanted to clarify how the system works for us. We don’t give bonuses or fire people solely based on the data coming from the leaderboard. It’s a game, just that. We’ve decided in the team to play the game, test the product but also test ourselves to some extend treating the results lightly.

There are currently three people in the company who know exactly how the system evaluates kudos, however detailing it here is pointless as we keep on changing the algorithm all the time. You can also search for my other posts on the topic to give you a rough idea anyway.

The main driver behind kudos is the number of hours spent on tasks. Thinking behind this concept is unique to TaskBeat’s methodology which assumes that most of the employees spend most of their working time doing work that has been pre-planned, as well as some work that hasn’t been planned.

Since TaskBeat’s methodology focuses on the critical chain the kudos recognises the work that has been planned, shared or otherwise has been agreed as one on the critical chain, that is: leading company to a success as defined on the plan.

There are some variances. Sometimes you might be working really hard on a task but not meeting its deadline and sometimes there simply is no deadline since the work might be just an experiment, ongoing effort or is just part of some iteration.

TaskBeat unique algorithm has been designed to cope with such situations and reward employees accordingly. In any case the same algorithm is used to measure productivity of each team member no matter if they’re in the same departament of different departments, possibly doing different work. What does matter is how focused are they on working on core strategy and how much time do they need doing some work that has not and maybe couldn’t even be planned upfront.

There’s however more to the teamwork just doing tasks. Since TaskBeat is all about collaboration it takes into account not only your raw task oriented productivity but also introduces a concept of Karma, which reflects not only your raw task based productivity but also feedback from your peers.

At the moment Karma is kept separate from Kudos and displayed as a separate value in TaskBeat’s leaderboard. The thinking behind keeping them separate is that one can be extremely effective but not in a hugely popular way and other coworkers can work other way round. Some team members are less effective with their own tasks but very helpful working with others, some are in between…

Therefore Karma and Kudos don’t overlap and define two separate “dimensions” of employee productivity to provide a more comprehensive overview of every team member’s status in the team. They provide very valuable information for managers who might delegate tasks more effectively based on each employee’s productivity profile.

Maciej Zagozda stands behind some of the concepts of TaskBeat methodology, managing director of Zagozda Limited — manufacturer of the TaskBeat application

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