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Increasing Optimization Actions through Gamification

By Courtney Bormann, Senior Manager, Cloud Enablement, General Mills


Summary Info
Success Factor Leadership support and recognition; easy to log, no high bar for logging a win.
Capabilities Optimization 
Price $100 per month
Participants Engineering/Operations & Business/Product Owners
Motivating factors/ rewards Recognition in front of peers, manager, and director community; small gift
Executive sponsorship Yes
Involved CSPs (list all that apply) Google, Azure, Alicloud
Effort/Time Commitment Low
Organizational goal Increase optimization savings and participation


General Mills’ was early in our FinOps journey and looking to increase team engagement of optimization actions to decrease our cloud waste. We developed a program called the ‘FinOps Allstar’. his was a person or small group that was recognized each month for driving waste out of their team’s cloud spend.  

The individual, which consisted of Engineers/Operations & Business/Product Owners, was recognized in front of their peers at our monthly cloud connect, joined the FinOps steering team to share their win with the Director+ community, and received a Yeti mug as recognition. Later in the game, we started recognizing everyone who submitted an optimization win with internal company points. These points could be used to purchase items from a catalog. They had the approximate value of $20.  

We had only one team who was actively working on optimization prior to this initiative, and by the end we had over 20 different groups sharing their optimization ideas. The FinOps team created a simple SharePoint form to allow teams to enter their optimization wins. Here’s an example:

This both allowed us to evaluate the optimization and more importantly for other teams to get ideas based off of what was working for their peers.