Our business strategy games

Introduction

Game-changing insight has set out to create a small series of games that concisely simulate the world of corporate IT. The games can be played for fun or used as part of a game-based learning experience.

The games have been defined around a 3-layer view of corporate IT; business, service and infrastructure.

The games deliver an authentic, though necessarily simplified, simulation of corporate IT which will be readily recognised by those working in the area.

The depth of the games along with their level of detail and intricacy make for a highly immersive experience with many levels for the gamer or student to explore. 

Understanding the 3-layer view of corporate IT

Each of the strategic business simulation games represents a layer of the IT landscape; business, service and infrastructure. Together they provide a holistic view of corporate IT.

The infrastructure layer

The service layer

The business layer

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. Incident and problem management plays a big role in this layer.

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 and technical capabilities to manage the deployments goes a long way towards achieving success.

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

 
 
UPGRADE! management training game setup for 4 players

UPGRADE! - strategic planning in the business layer

Strategic planning and demand management game

UPGRADE! is played over 6 game years and centres around improving the IT landscape in a small production facility

As a player/team-member in UPGRADE! you are managing the IT solutions in one of a number of small production facilities. Each facility has four departments; Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics and Administration.

You are in charge of training the staff, implementing new solutions, improving their performance, integrating them and creating insightful reports for the managers of the departments. You don't have a lot of money to spend and you have to use an out-sourced workforce to get things done. 

The out-sourcing contract has been negotiated centrally and is common for all facilities with a certain amount of planned time and a contingency of unplanned time (at twice the cost of planned) assigned each year. 

This management simulation game requires careful planning to succeed and helps develop an understanding of predicted costs and benefit over an extended period of time.

Upgrading the solutions in each business area

Each of the four departments has its own solution. At the start of the game this is fairly basic and it is your job to introduce one of the three approved corporate options in each area. Each option takes different effort to implement, requires different IT resources to run and returns different business value. After implementing the new solution you will also aim to further upgrade to the very latest release before the end of the game.

Train new users for more money and influence

Each year you receive money based on the number of trained users you have across your facility.

Each department begins with a set number of trained users, though you have the option of training up more. 

When you extend the number of trained users you will gain influence within the company but the greater number of users may increase your demand on IT with the extended need for processing power and bandwidth.

Get financial help from the departments

You need money to pay for your use of the out-sourcing partner and also for the demand on IT.

Your income from the trained users is not really enough so you need to use your influence and time to meet with the managers of the various departments, explain how you will be improving their area and secure some of their budget to help you. The manager's are impatient and their commitment has a time limit.

Gain insight through analysis of the data

Insight, in the form of business value, can be gained through spending time analysing the data in each solution. Once you have done the analysis you submit a report to the business area managers to help them create even more value from their department.

Integrate the solutions

The upgraded solutions can be integrated to synchronise their databases and give a more seamless experience for the users.

A further advantage of integration is that the shared database offers greater possibilities to gain significant insight when analysed.

However, integration also takes computer power and will increase your demand on IT

Tune your solutions for better performance

Each of the upgraded solutions are installed "out of the box" without special configuration for your specific facility.

By spending time to reconfigure the system and the platform on which it is run (in terms of CPU, memory etc.) you improve the performance for its users and may also be able to reduce the demand for IT.

  • Implement new solutions to extend the facility's capabilities

  • Train new users for increased income and influence

  • Secure budgetary support from department managers

  • Tune your solutions to improve their performance

  • Report on improvements and generate business value

  • Integrate the solutions for better data and seamless operations

  • Incident management - solve the incidents

  • Problem management - analyse the route cause of a disruption

  • Manage the knowledge through maintaining wikis

  • Develop and test new releases of your service

  • Deal with emergency change requests from your users

  • Learn to plan and work in agile sprints

Setup of the IT management training game Stabil-IT

Stabil-IT - incident management in the service layer

Incident management, release management and much more, including planning activities with agile sprints

Stabil-IT is played over 6 game periods and centres around delivering stable IT services whilst creating new releases and resisting disruptions

As a player/team-member in Stabil-IT (pronounced Stability) you are managing the operations of one of the company's primary IT services. You, along with the other players are also assisting in the operations of some secondary IT services. Each service comprises of an application layer running across four technical platforms. You will be trying to build up the stability of your service in order that you can absorb or resist disruptions that occur. If you don't have sufficient stability, the disruptions will create an incident; either major or minor. Major incidents must always be prioritised.

You plan your activities for the upcoming turn in a sprint with a fixed amount of effort (broadly equivalent to a number of story points). Every so often one of the underlying technical platforms is life-cycled, causing disruption in the affected services.

Your aim is to create the most business value and to not fall foul of your users.

Build up your service knowledge (wiki pages)

Knowledge management is s featured aspect of the business simulation.

The tacit knowledge held after solving an incident can be transferred to your service wiki pages. This can increase your business value and your effectiveness by extending the amount of effort per sprint.

You can also spend time analysing your service and updating the wiki pages with your new-found knowledge.

Develop new release

Your current service is in need up updating in order that you can deliver the new functionality that has been requested.

A new release takes a number of development steps and risks major disruption of your service if not fully tested.

It is up to you to weigh the risk of disruption with the urgency of the release

Improve your service

Each service has 5 nodes, one for the application layer and 4 for the supporting technical platforms.

You can choose to specifically target your improvement activities at a specific node to increase the stability at that node. You also have some emergency change requests from your users that need to be addressed.

These activities are a little rushed with insufficient testing and result in random disruption in the landscape.

Solve an incident

One of the main areas of the game is incident management. When a service is hit with disruption, it loses stability. If there is no stability to lose, an incident is generated.

There are two types of incident in Stabil-IT; major and minor. Solving major incidents must be prioritised. Each service has a maximum number of minor incidents that are permitted, if this number is exceeded, these also become prioritised.

When an incident is solved, you have tacit knowledge.

 
IT infrastructure planning training game DEPLOY! under way

DEPLOY! - IT capacity planning in the infrastructure layer

IT infrastructure capacity planning, IT cost optimisation and license management

DEPLOY! is played over 5 rounds and centres around delivering maximum business value through deploying much needed projects

As a player/team-member in DELOY! you are managing one of the company's server-rooms and maintaining sufficient capacity to support the planned projects. Each project has an associated IT demand represented by different types of workload.

You oversee three technical platforms as well as having access to public clouds, though not all projects can be deployed into the cloud due to security or other considerations. 

You have your own team assigned to support your activities and can reassign others from your department if you so wish, though reassignment will cost you income.

Key within this simulation is how you develop your team and their automation technology in order that you can maximise the projects deployed in the time available.

Each of the technical platforms works in slightly different way. Two are virtualised and one is physical. One of the virtualised shares capacity from all the servers whereas the in the other each server has its own pool.

Adding capacity to your infrastructure platforms costs money any you will need to pay your software fees every game round. You will receive money each round from the projects you deploy.

Deploy a project

When a project is deployed it awards income and business value. When you deploy a project you must transfer its associated workloads to gain the reward.

Each technical platform supports specific workload types so you have to have the right capacity available in your server room if you want to deploy a project there.

When a project is deployed, the workloads are added to the supporting platforms. Public cloud supports all workloads.

Add and remove IT capacity

In your turn, you can add capacity to each of your technical platforms.

As the game progresses, better equipment becomes available with more capacity. You will also want to get rid of some of the old capacity as it becomes too expensive to run.

You can only remove capacity that is not used.

You platforms need to be licensed to remain compliant and it is important that you balance your workloads to minimise the cost

Develop your project team and its technology

You can train your team with new skills or knowledge to make you them more effective. You can also invest in new technologies such as automation to improve your capabilities.

Team and technology development is crucial in achieving success.

Balancing your deployed workloads

One of your main operational expenses is that of support and license costs.

To keep this cost to a minimum and also to enable the efficient life cycle management of your technical platforms it is often necessary to move your workloads from one platform to another. 

  • Plan and implement your capacity needs

  • Develop the skills within your team

  • Add technologies to automate and improve your capabilities

  • Deploy projects to your server-room or to the cloud

  • Carefully manage your license footprint

  • Optimise your costs through life-cycling and workload balancing

 

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

Why train with strategic business games?

A strategic business game, in particular one that simulated the business, delivers a real-world scenario through an on-line 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.

 

Choose from our range of business strategy games

Each of the business simulation games included in the Total-IT collection started life as games in their own right. Each game is for 2-4 players and lasts around 2 hours.

These stand-alone games have been updated to take advantage of the latest developments seen in the full trainer edition collection.

IT capacity planning with DEPLOY!

Your employer has started on an ambitious modernization and expansion program, focusing heavily on replacing their outdated IT systems. To achieve this, many projects have been created and need to be deployed and supported. 

The company has several existing locations each of which has a similar server-room with ample space for expansion.

You are tasked to provide and manage the infrastructure needed to host a number of projects, which may generate income and business. You are managing one of the locations with a server-room and have access to a small team of people. Your goal is to establish your location as the one contributing most to the success of the company by generating the most business value.

IT service management with Stabil-IT

You are working in one of a number of centrally located teams, with end-to-end service management responsibilities. The  groups are tasked with developing new releases in the solution areas as well as keeping them up and running and adapting.

Each team is responsible for one of the solutions and have shared responsibility for several other solutions.

You are tasked with rolling out new versions of your solution and, at the same time, ensuring that the current version performs reliably and maintains its availability.

You will also need to be mindful of the needs of your user-base, meeting their requests for improvements.

Strategic planning with UPGRADE!

You are working for one of the company’s production facilities. Each facility operates semi-autonomously and produces a unique set of products.

The parent company has set out an ambitious modernization plan with the over-riding goal of maximizing business value.

You have the task of improving the IT solutions over the coming 6 years but can only choose from those approved by head office.