Strategic business games

Serious games that immerse you in the world of information technology

Why not make one of our business strategy games the star of your next online or physical group activity. Fun to play and deeply absorbing with layer upon layer of IT management insight gradually revealed.

All of our games develop and encourage holistic, strategic thinking with a strong focus on creating business value and an agile mindset.

All games available to play online


Strategic planning

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Agile IT service management

Image of the box front for Game-changing Insight's agile IT service management game, Stabil-IT
Thumbnail of the rules for Game-changing Insight's agile IT servic management game, Stabil-IT

IT capacity planning

Image of the box front for Game-changing Insight's IT capacity planning game, DEPLOY!
Thumbnail of the rules for Game-changing Insight's IT capacity planning game, DEPLOY!

Tactical DevOps

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DEPLOY! with insight wheel.jpg

Learn about IT infrastructure capacity planning, cost optimisation and license management - DEPLOY!

Overview of DEPLOY!

Bulleted list of the key training aspect of the business simulation game UPGRADE!
  • 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

DEPLOY! is played over 5 rounds and centres around delivering maximum business value through deploying much needed projects - physical and online variants.

As a player/team-member in DEPLOY! 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.

Expanation of the incident management function in the Stabil-IT management game

4 key areas of insight from playing DEPLOY!

Expanation of the capacity management function in the DEPLOY! management game

Capacity planning and ITAM

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.

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

Explanation of the train functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Project deployment and value creation

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.

Expanation of the team development function in the DEPLOY! management game

Developing your project team, its skills and 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 skills and technology development improve your efficiency - crucial in achieving success.

Expanation of the workload balancing function in the DEPLOY! management game

Cost control through optimising your workload placement

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. 

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Bulleted list of the key training aspect of the business simulation game UPGRADE!
  • 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

Overview of Stabil-IT

Learn about incident management, release management and much more, with an agile focus - Stabil-IT

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


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.

Expanation of the incident management function in the Stabil-IT management game

4 key areas of insight from playing Stabil-IT

Expanation of the incident management function in the Stabil-IT management game

Incident and problem management

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.

Expanation of the knowledge management function in the Stabil-IT management game

Knowledge management

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.

Expanation of the release management function in the Stabil-IT management game

Release management and testing

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

Expanation of the service improvement function in the Stabil-IT management game

Continuous service improvement and stakeholder management

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.

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Learn about strategic planning and demand management as you transform your company's IT landscape

Overview of UPGRADE!

Bulleted list of the key training aspect of the business simulation game UPGRADE!
  • Implement new solutions to bring improved capabilities

  • Tune your solutions to improve their performance

  • Train new users for increased income and influence

  • Secure budgetary support from department managers

  • Integrate the solutions for better data and seamless operations

  • Report on improvements and generate business value

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

Your company has assigned you to plan and co-ordinate the modernisation activities at a manufacturing facility. The facility has four departments Administration, Manufacturing, Warehousing and Logistics. As you get involved, each department in the facility has a low-tech solution in place. Your brief is to upgrade these solutions to a level that will allow the facility to contribute fully to the company.

The company has three alternative solutions that are appropriate for your facility. These have been used in other similar facilities and have proven to be effective. Some may provide more business value whilst other lighter solutions will be less of a drain on your resources. The company would like to utilise the licenses it currently has available in these solutions, meaning that there is a limited quantity available in each solution.

The main work effort is outsourced to a reliable external company with which head office has an agreement comprising an amount of planned labour and access to additional unplanned labour should it be needed. The unplanned labour does, however come at a premium cost, double that of planned labour.

You will be running your planning and budget in 6-month cycles. At the beginning of each cycle you can approach the leadership team at head office for some assistance during the cycle. The company appreciates and rewards a structured work plan, so where possible, you will determine which activities you will deliver during the cycle. After delivering during the cycle your budget will be topped up and you will assess the current business value contribution of the solutions in the facility.

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.

Expanation of the incident management function in the Stabil-IT management game

6 key areas of management insight from playing UPGRADE!

Explanation of the upgrade functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Implement solutions that improve your IT landscape

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.

Explanation of the train functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Tuning the 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.

Explanation of the train functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Train new users for increased income 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.

Explanation of the lobby functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Connections and relationship management

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.

Explanation of the train functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Solutions integration

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

Explanation of the reporting functionality in the UPGRADE! management training game

Business value from data analysis

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.