If you are a developer then it is possible that you also believe ‘bugs are inevitable’. It is understandable how strenuous a developer’s job can be when bugs are reported every now and then, and that too, unexpectedly. With release cycles being pushed from months to weeks and days now, it becomes extremely challenging for QA teams to speed up their software testing process along with quality assurance. And this is where they need to have an issue tracking tool or software that can assist their testing efforts. However, bug tracking can become boring for developers and they may lose their interest in struggling with the rectification of these bugs. Thus giving birth to the idea of gamifying the issue tracking process.
The Idea Behind Gamification
In simple words, gamification is the application of game elements and game design techniques to a non-game situation in order to engage users in an activity. These techniques are often used to overcome business challenges by offering a reward for the participant. The idea, here, is to center around a reward system that helps in attracting and retaining participants. It focuses on engaging participants and getting the work done, simultaneously.
Gamification can Help QA Teams
So using gamification to kill the ‘boredom’ factor for developers can be a good idea in the case of issue tracking. This does not suggest that anyone can be a developer, but anyone can help a developer, and understand his job better. You can either get help from outside or even use help from your colleagues. Even if they are not a part of your QA team, they can still help.
Gamifying the Issue Tracking Process
Gamification can be used to give users extra motivation to perform certain tasks. Let’s say if issue tracking is assigned to a participant, and he is offered a reward for each bug logged – it can earn benefit for both, the developer and the participant. He can also use an issue tracking tool to do so. This reward could be offering free drinks at the nearest bar for a week, or earning tickets to a favorite movie show. Since issue tracking is an on-going process, many developers have accepted that they cannot fix everything immediately. So a new game plan like gamification can be a new ray of hope for them.
How to Get Started?
If you really believe gamification can step up your game and decrease the number of bugs in your application, then the following four tips can be a handful for your team:
Share the Mission – It is important that you provide your participants with a proper reason as to why you have accepted their help in the issue tracking process. Users/game players, in this case, tend to be more motivated when they know the mission behind this activity.
Set Rules for the Game – All games have certain rules. They are not only to assist the participants but to ensure that the information they gather is useful for the QA team.
Competition – Make sure you set a competition so it can be a powerful incentive for the participants to focus on their mission.
Offer Rewards – And now comes the interesting part, the rewards! Make sure you offer interesting Rewards for your participants so that they can help achieve their mission.
Gamifying the issue tracking process can make a huge difference to your QA teams. If you choose in-house volunteers, it can be fun and interesting for them to know more about your software development process. However, the biggest wins can be for the developers, they get to fix more and more bugs. Gamification can also help QA teams in maintaining their bug backlog efficiently.