Getting engineers to take action to optimize spending can feel like an eternal struggle for many cloud-based companies. In fact, this particular issue is consistently considered to be one of the number-one cost challenges modern companies face.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. Below are a few creative ways companies have gamified FinOps practices to make the learning process more interesting and rewarding for engineers. If cost optimization is a struggle in your own organization, you can copy these FinOps gamification examples to the letter or use them as inspiration to build your own motivational activities.
1. Fidelity’s “Try FinOps Tournament”
Sometimes, the simple act of raising awareness around FinOps principles is half the battle. When the FinOps leaders at Fidelity created their “Try FinOps Tournament,” they had just one goal in mind: get more people within their organization to simply try FinOps and see what it’s all about.
They hoped that getting employees to participate in the game would open the door to conversations about cost goals, KPIs, and some real-world ways to optimize the company’s cloud costs.
The FinOps team designed their tournament based around eleven “rooms,” each of which contained challenges related to a specific idea.
They included rooms such as “FinOps 101,” “Areas for Cost Reduction,” and “FinOps KPIs,” for example. Tournament participants worked their way through each room and then took a quiz assessing their knowledge of the subject.
Fidelity was pleased that over 50% of players (out of a total of 1,400) completed the game, and even more pleased to see that those employees continued proactively attending FinOps discussions and suggesting improvements for the future.
2. FinOps Bingo
One (unidentified) company saw great success in getting its employees to learn about FinOps by creating a simple Bingo game and incentivizing winners with prizes.
Bingo card tiles included sixteen activities to complete, under the umbrella of three main categories:
- Learning about FinOps
- Saving the company money
- Proactively reporting results
Astonishingly, nine out of fourteen teams filled their cards completely, and prizes went to first-, second-, and third-place teams.
3. General Mills’ Points And Prize Rewards
General Mills took a straightforward, tried-and-true approach to gamifying its FinOps objectives.
Leaders simply selected one person as a “FinOps Allstar” each month and recognized this person (or small group) for their FinOps achievements. Prizes included public recognition, a Yeti mug, and internal company points that could be used to purchase catalog items.
Before this initiative, General Mills had just one team that prioritized FinOps. After the new program was implemented, twenty teams became interested in cost optimization concepts.
4. GitLab’s Cost Savings Contest
Knowing that friendly competition can be a driving force for improvement, GitLab leaders set up a contest with visible team rankings to see which group could achieve the highest cost savings.
The contest was a huge success; each team worked hard toward their goals, engineers took a special interest in helping teams that were struggling, and GitLab’s Kubernetes costs were slashed by 10% by the end of the contest.
5. A Gaming Company’s Cost Challenge Series
Who better to use gamification as a motivational strategy than a game development company?
This organization created a number of challenges teams could complete that involved removing unused resources and eliminating wasted costs.
Activities focused on improving three key areas within the company:
- Optimizing costs
- Allocating costs
- Achieving and maintaining financial transparency
These challenges encouraged communication and collaboration among teams and helped each person maintain a focus on cost efficiency and careful financial management of projects.
Begin Your Company’s FinOps Journey With The Help Of CloudZero
Mastering FinOps comes in stages. At CloudZero, we specialize in helping companies take charge of their cloud spending and learn to crawl, walk, and eventually run with their newfound FinOps knowledge.
Our platform puts concrete, actionable data at your fingertips, and our experts are always standing by to help you decide where to focus your FinOps efforts.