Gentle Bamboo Solutions

How a training app improved Domino’s sales by over 30%


[This week's emails are contributed by Rakshith, and he ponders about a serious topic in a lot of detail: How to develop a Learning Organization?]

So you’ve aligned learning goals to business goals and designed learning into the workflow. Congratulations, you’ve probably built a great training program you can be proud of. The testament of your training’s greatness though is in adoption.

This brings us to Step 3: Developing a Continuous Learning Culture. At Gentle Bamboo, we’ve worked towards driving adoption using the GPS Framework.

G – Gamification (Learning/Application must be fun. As trainers, how can we make the training and the post-training application fun?)

P – Personalisation (What immediate problem is this learning solving and how is it customized to my specific requirements as a learner?)

S – Socialisation (Learners learn from each other and through sharing. As trainers, how can we empower learners to share openly during and after the training?)

So far at Gentle Bamboo, we’ve designed training programs using this framework. Indeed, I wrote an entire week’s worth of emails to you about this framework. Some of you attended our workshop around this framework. We’ve generally used this framework to design for motivation and assumed adoption will follow from motivation. I am now re-thinking that position.

What got me to re-think my position? Four weeks ago, I came across a case study.

Domino’s, one of the world’s most popular pizza chains, needed a recipe to improve their existing onboarding process. As their branches grew globally, they sought to develop an effective training program that would help them maintain their high-quality food and service. The program also needed to be customizable, so that franchise owners around the world could tweak it for their use.

To help meet this need, Domino’s invested in a gamified learning system that deployed microlearning materials. Specifically, these short, bite-sized modules were made to train and assess employees on new skills. By including gamified elements such as levels, scoreboards, time-pressure, and virtual simulations, learners were driven to achieve competency. The learning portal also enabled customization which allowed the trainers and managers more control over how to track and optimize team progress.

As a result, Domino’s saw an increased speed to competency for newly onboarded employees. In turn, this increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Domino’s also reported improved cost savings, and a decrease in customer complaints.

Overall, their approach was so successful that they extended this strategy for the public and potential recruits. So in 2011, they launched Pizza Hero. This was a gamified mobile app, which incorporated rich use of media, timed challenges, and rewards. Players competed against each other making and delivering pizzas and earning rewards. They shared their achievements and leader-boards on Facebook and Twitter.

The game was so successful, it generated as much as a 30% increase in sales upon its launch.

Around the same time as I came across this case study, Abhilash and I attended a design thinking workshop, spread over 6 sessions, conducted by a company called Learning Ethos. While the program was brilliantly designed it was also supported by a gamified app that, despite its design limitations, was instrumental in spiking adoption, driving engagement before and after each training session, and leading participants to continuously share ideas and opinions with each other.

I had a hunch that the GPS framework should not just be used to design a training program. It must also be used to provide performance support before and after the training. But now I am convinced that we cannot separate technology from training, the GPS framework, and performance support. I am convinced that as trainers, and indeed as learning organizations, we must embrace micro-learning. The future is blended. And if we do not move in that direction, we will be rejected by learners.

Staring ahead at a new path,


P.S. I know this is a controversial line of thinking. What do you think? Do you see a path for us to make a lasting impact without continuous engagement?