Skill Growth Gamification

Anthony Crain | 01:30 – 02:45


When transforming an organization, it is important to list out all of the skills the teams need to master, teach them about those skills, but then to actually measure and reward growth in those skills. Especially when the skills are complex, require mentoring, and might be changing as the organization masters them based on discoveries and lessons learned.

This session will describe a skill growth program that awards skill levels based on meeting specific objective criteria. The technique requires the use of mentors for difficult skills as a quality control and encourages team members to grow skills both inside and outside their usual role. The use of objective tasks sets this approach apart from similar skill management approaches that rely on self assessment or management opinion.

Much like “gamification” techniques, earning skills and levels in skills becomes a lot like a game of earning merit badges and people become competitive in who can gain the most, the fastest, the most diversity, personally fill a known skill gap, etc.

Companies who have adopted this approach have credited it as the most significant factor in changing their culture, including at a major grocery chain, a major telecom, a life critical automated controls company and a food manufacturer.

Come learn how this approach works and see if it is a candidate for changing your companies culture to a more agile mindset.


Anthony has worked at IBM Rational leading iterative projects, agile projects and organizational change efforts for over thirteen years. He is known for his outstanding mentoring and teaching abilities, clearly explaining the practical side to theoretical concepts in an exciting manner.

He has introduced thousands of people to iterative, agile and other engineering topics at multiple internal IBM events, at seven Rational User’s Conferences, the Rational European Technical Conference (where he had the privilege of presenting six times and was rated the best speaker), to over 800 IBM partners, at the Share conference, at the IEEE conference and in private and public training venues including as a Keynote Speaker.  His audience sizes have ranged from 6 to 300 people, from every development discipline and to every level from practitioner to VPs and CxOs.

He has led transformations in many diverse industries including commercial software development, automotive, healthcare, financial, government, retail, automated controls, manufacturing, power, telecom, home mortgage and more.