The HOT Plan™: What’s the Point?

If there’s hard work to be done, make a game of it.

Top teachers, coaches and smart parents live by this creed. HOT Targets, too, are kind of a game. They operate with a bull’s eye, deadlines, points and rewards. That’s part of the fun of it. But who knew that making a game out of work is projected to be a $2.8 billion industry in 2016?

It’s called gamification, and apparently The HOT Plan™ qualifies as a system with gamification already built-in. 

I first heard about gamification when we were talking with the young COO of a regional IT services firm. He was excited about the HOT Plan, but when he heard about the points and rewards, his excitement went over the top.

“Points, deadlines, targets and rewards?” my young friend said. “Great gamification!”

I was a little embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what he was talking about. But he quickly filled me in. “Oh that’s OK,” he said. “Gamification just means you turn work into a game.  We are always looking for new ways to gamify our work.”

In the HOT Plan, gamification is how we get things done.

HOT Targets are assigned points when they are submitted. Teams that hit their deadlines collect those points. Team points are recorded in a company-wide running total and the number grows rapidly as each team reaches their goals. The running total is always accessible to our employees online. On the last day of December, the point totals are bottom-lined and converted to a cash amount. At the annual meeting in January, every employee leaves with a bonus check based on that cash amount. The checks are equal, differentiated only by whether employees work full- or part-time. In our gamification system, everyone wins together.

That’s how HOT points keep our entire system moving forward and help targets remain relevant all year long. When the HOT Plan began, we were not sure how to assign points in a fair way. In time, we found a way to estimate the hours of each project and create a simple and fair way to determine points in advance. Now when it’s time to write HOT Targets, the question “What’s the point?” takes on an entirely new meaning.

For more about gamification through HOT Targets, points and bonus rewards for teams, pick up a copy of my new book, The HOT Plan™, available here in eBook, softcover, and color hardback versions. For special bulk pricing (10 or more books), please visit Follow us on Twitter @thehotplan or FaceBook, or visit for more details about The HOT Plan™.

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