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Total-IT: business games for trainers

Numeral 3 overlayed on the Total-IT game box
Numeral 2 overlayed on the Total-IT game box
Numeral 1 overlayed on the Total-IT game box

Unique business games

Ways to train

Powerful training resource 

Games for trainers specialising in the IT industry, its processes and management

Use Total-IT games in both onsite and online training session

Everything you need for successful game-based learning sessions

Three games that together build a holistic view of the key aspects of corporate IT from upgrading the business layer through stabilising the service layer to deploying in the infrastructure layer.

Strategic planning and demand management

Focusing on the business layer, this game is set in a small manufacturing plant as it transforms and grows its IT solutions.

Incident and release management

Set in the central development and operational hub of the company, supporting the IT services, their users and the business at large.

Capacity and license management

Set in the server-room where you are developing your team and technologies to efficiently deploy new services whilst controlling operational costs.

Physical games for training in onsite

The physical channel is supported through a convenient boxed set containing all three IT management training games


Virtual games for training online

There are two online variants of each game:

  • A specially modified version, optimised for the online training experience.

  • Faithful virtual copy of our physical board game for train-the-trainer

The games

Physical boxed set plus access to your online game rooms is provided through this site

Resources for trainers

Trainer resource materials available at this site 

A Facebook group especially for our trainers to share experiences and tips or to pose questions

Consultancy and lesson preparation assistance from Game-changing Insight

Train-the-trainer sessions to give you a deep understanding of the games, their mechanics and how to create your own variations.

Resources for players

Special mobile friendly player help pages for in-game support

Total-IT boxed collection of business strategy games for trainers of corporate IT

Who will benefit from Total-IT?

This collection of strategic business simulation games is specifically designed for use by trainers that want to, or already do, incorporate game-based learning sessions to achieve maximum results for their clients.

As a trainer, you will benefit from Total-IT if you...

  • Are supporting IT organisations through a transformation journey

  • Focusing on team development

  • Helping organisations break through the silo barriers

  • Are looking to support ITIL education with applied simulations

Trainig with games

Why train with strategic business games?

A strategic business game, in particular one that simulates the business, delivers a real-world scenario through an online or physical gaming medium for immersive, experiential learning.

Business simulations incorporate processes, activities, decisions and consequences appropriate to their specific scenario. By necessity. the real-world is simplified and edited to work within the physical and time constraints of the chosen game form. The simulation must therefore ensure that its game elements cover the main aspects of reality without becoming bogged down with the minutiae, which can render the game unplayable. In fact, game design can be used as a mechanism for improving and simplifying real-world processes and methods.

Training sessions that incorporate well-designed business simulation games ensure that participants are intellectually, physically and emotionally engaged. This results in all participants having a common, holistic understanding of the subject matter with persistence of memory that often lasts for years.

Graphic representing common understanding and insight

What is the Total-IT collection?

The Total-IT collection is a unique set of strategic business simulation games themed around and within the world of corporate IT. In all, there are 3 business simulation games covering three different but complimentary perspectives; business (“UPGRADE!”), service (“DELIVER!”) and Infrastructure (“DEPLOY!”). Whilst each game stands alone, together they form a holistic view of IT, further supported with common terminology and iconography ensuring that they are perceived as different views of the same complete picture.

These games are trainer editions of our stand-alone IT training games, specifically adapted for quicker setup and shortened time to independent play (TIP). The games are rich in detail and context supporting extended discussion and analysis of the concepts covered, and how they can be applied to the real world. All games are aligned with ITIL incorporating a majority of the practices introduced in ITIL v4 and the related processes in ITIL v3.

For example, “DEPLOY!” is themed around IT capacity and performance management, applying planned infrastructure optimisation to minimise the cost of operations.

As is common with game-based learning solutions, all three games incorporate soft skills in the gaming experience. 

Total-IT is available under license, for trainers to run game-based learning sessions either online or in person. It you are interested in leveraging the Total-IT collection for your training sessions click here.

Total-IT in context
Abstract 3-layer view of corporate IT showing how the business, service and infrastructure layers interact with each other in the Game-changing Insight game space

An external sourcing partner supports the business in their modernisation activities

The business users report incidents and submit request for service improvements to the service layer

Events are triggered by the monitoring systems and, periodically, the technical platforms are life-cycled. The plan for life-cycling is given to the service layer

Technology companies provide ways to improve the capabilities of the infrastructure layer

Product teams submit new service releases as a project for deployment

Deployed projects become available for the business to upgrade

Training companies provide courses to improve the skills at the infrastructure layer

Cloud providers deliver an alternative capacity source.

Hardware suppliers bring next generation equipment to the infrastructure layer, boosting its capacity

Putting the Total-IT collection in context

Each strategic business simulation game included in Total-IT represents a layer of the IT landscape; business, service and infrastructure. Together they provide a holistic view of corporate IT.

The business layer shows IT from the point of view of the users of the services and the managers of the impacted business areas, focusing on strategic planning to achieve transformation of the IT landscape.

The service layer looks at end to end IT service management, focusing on keeping the services running for the business and introducing improvements that will bring more business value. All of this is done with a simplified agile methodology.

The infrastructure layer focuses on IT capacity management, incorporating the technical platforms on which the services are run whether they are in a server-room or in the cloud. Building and training the right team to manage the deployments goes a long way to success.

Training with Total-IT

The Total-IT business simulation games can be played separately or sequentially, developing the story of IT.

Each simulation represents a layer of IT and is intended for 3-4 teams of 1-3 players per team, taking around 3 hours to complete.

Train strategic planning

Train strategic planning and demand management in the business layer with UPGRADE!

Close up of an UPGRADE! facility board

“UPGRADE!” covers the business layer, where each team is managing the IT systems in a small production facility. They have been tasked with updating and integrating the systems to generate maximum business value.

Each team has their own production facility featuring four business areas; Logistics, Administration, Manufacturing and Warehousing. Each business area has a manager and a group of users and an IT solution. Over the course of the game additional users are trained, the systems are upgraded, and the costs are controlled by managing the demand for IT infrastructure resources. Systems can be integrated, and reports generated to earn more business value. Key to success  is the effective use of influence in lobbying for financial commitment from the manager in each business area.

The work is outsourced to a single external company supporting all teams and their ambitions, requiring that the teams collectively make good use of the planned time available to them.

Train incident management
Setup of an online game of DELIVER! on Tabletopia

Train incident and release management in the service layer with DELIVER!

“DELIVER!” features Monitoring & event management, incident management, problem management, change management and knowledge management in the service layer of a company's IT organisation.

Each player assigns the resources available to their DevOps team to advance the business value offered by their service.

Each team has end-to-end responsibility for one of four solutions and also supports one or more shared services, leading to a semi-cooperative approach in the gameplay.

The teams must develop and release continual improvements to increase the business value of their service but must also stay ahead of the operational issues such as incidents and requests.

Train capacity management
Player mat and board from the ITSM training game, DEPLOY!

Train IT capacity and license management in the infrastructure layer with DEPLOY!

“DEPLOY!” covers infrastructure and platform management as well as deployment management with a focus on capacity planning and optimisation.

Each team manages a hybrid infrastructure comprising their own server-room/data-centre and public cloud capacity in which they deploy new IT solutions in the form of projects. In their server-room, each team adds and removes capacity to support the workloads coming from the projects. These workloads can also be moved around (re-balanced) to reduce operational expenditure incurred by software licensing and support costs.


In the simulation, actions are performed by the project team. The size of the team, skill set and available automation technology can all be managed within the simulation to make the team more effective. 

What the players say

Testimonials: what the players say

The games give you an insight into the world of running the backbone of IT. Built on tactical thinking rather than random dice throwing, but still with some impact of the unforeseen...

Complex and interactive games, simulating IT in a safe environment where discussions are a fun and important part of the game

Tremendously impressed with the level of proficiency, and the layers of logic. I think both people in the digital business and others can understand, have fun and some insight as well! Got to give it a bit of time to get into the rules and intricacies.

Challenging, fun and some true recognitions from day-to-day work

An excellent game! It challenges one to think strategically and every decision you make will eventually have a consequence in sense of profit, business value and capacity…

This is an outstanding game! I am totally impressed how well thought, designed and built it is… Can't wait to gather in the group and play again :-).

…In the beginning it feels overwhelming with all the different possibilities and rules, but after a round or two you explore the different tactics and enjoy it the more you play it…

…This is a game you need to be analytical and plan ahead. During the game you realize how well it is based on running a real IT business. Thumbs up!

I’ve been playing a few of the Total-IT simulations and have enjoyed them very much. They are well designed and give a challenge every time. You can also increase the complexity if you want a bigger challenge.

Enjoyed playing this game. It requires you to analyze the opponents to find benefits for you and blocking their strategies. I already have recommended this to my friends and people I talked board games with…

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