Sometimes water companies contemplate the possibilities of developing their gamification solution . In this article, we will make a high-level assessment of the question, ‘can a water company develop its gamification solution?’. In the end we encourage water companies to collaborate with third party gamification firms to develop solutions.
At this point, it is important to mention that, a water company developing its gamification solution in the current context basically means creating a team within the organization tasked to develop gamification solutions. In other words, a water company is not open to the idea of outsourcing the development of gamification solutions. Would this be a good idea or not?
Why it is a good idea
A gamification team in your organization means you have access to gamification experts at any point to brainstorm with for solutions to problems. The hassle of reaching out to an external party is taken away.
Avoid contractual difficulties
An internal gamification team also means contractual issues are no longer a worry. Concerns about external parties not delivering on promises and the hustle of having to drag them to court in some cases would be a thing of the past. Of course, you are also free from lawsuits in case you breach contractual terms with an external gamification firm
Knowledge of the local water industry
With an internal gamification team, a water company in rest assured that gamification solutions will be contextual and tailor-made. The reason is, your gamification team understands your industry and the internal workings of your organizations. For instance, they know what is possible to develop with the available resources.
Why it is a bad idea
Lack of focus
The core duty of water utilities is to sustainably supply quality freshwater to households and businesses. This responsibility is not an easy one. Therefore, the burden of having to run an internal gamification department makes no sense. The operations of water companies are complex enough. So, it does not need a gamification department in that complexity.
Extra operation cost
The creation of an internal gamification department translates to an extra cost of operations for the water company. Most water utilities are constantly exploring ways to reduce their operational costs. It is important to note that, a water company cannot maximize the productivity of a gamification department because that is not its area of competence.
Difficulty recruiting the required expertise
To get the most out of a gamification team, you need to recruit the right talent. Most water companies will be tempted to extend their IT departments for gamification. This is a big mistake. If you check the portfolios and skills sets of gamification firms, it is undoubtedly unfair to your IT department if they are expected to develop top-notch gamification solutions. This is not to downplay the skills of your IT team but to point out that the skill set needed to run a game studio is not the same as an IT department.
It is also relevant to indicate the difficulties for full-time gamification firms to recruit the right talent. These talents don’t come cheap.
There is no straightforward answer to the question, can a water company develop its gamification solution?. The pros and cons must be objectively weighed. There are benefits with an in-house team developing gamification solutions for a water company. However sexy this idea is, the cons of such a decision must be considered. Most water companies have opted not to develop their own gamification solution for good reasons. Working with a trustworthy and competent external gamification firm flaws any argument for creating an internal gamification department.
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Also check our this Short (video) intro to Water Battle, an example of a serious game for a water conservation project and Water Battle Factsheet