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ITSM training: Delivering success through problem management

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

DELIVER! game-based learning, after-action report by Eetu Suikki.

Two groups playing the DELIVER! board game in the corner of a warehouse

An operational warehouse in Sweden’s Småland county, is probably not where you would expect to find an IT service management simulation in progress. However, this was the very stage where 14 players gathered to experience the DELIVER! ITSM training board game in October 2023

After the initial run-through of the rules, the players were reassured that they should not be concerned over not mastering the details from the get-go. They were split into two groups with each player being assigned to manage one of the four services in the game: Administration, Manufacturing, Logistics, and (appropriately, given our location) Warehousing. The players had objectives both as a group and as individuals: outscore the opposing table and score the most points individually on the winning table. Already in the opening rounds, DELIVER! challenges the players’ incident management skills in both individually managed and shared services. The initial confusion was digested over a (virtually) mandatory Swedish #fika, after which it was Anders de Flon and Igor Samardzijovski who successfully navigated their way through 16 rounds to earn the winners’ medals.

Proud winners hold up their prizes after a session of the applied board game DELIVER!

We caught up with them after their victory, and they reflected on when the gameplay had really “clicked” for them.

“I think it was in the third round when we started to understand,” Igor said. “I was thinking about our own systems quite early on,” Anders added.

All players found themselves in the same boat with limited in-game resources at their disposal to take on what DELIVER! was throwing at them.

Anders explained: “We didn’t have that many resources either. We got a lot of high priority cases. So, we had to put our focus on building the [known errors] wiki. “We were last in the first part of the game, but then we gained positions in the second half of the game by focusing on problem management.”

Problem management is key to pivoting from reactive firefighting to proactive value creation, by freeing up the resources needed to create business value through service improvement. From not knowing the rules, to being last after the opening rounds, Anders and Igor created a resilient administration service that was able to propel the rest of their table forward.

“We had resources in hand. Where should we put it?” Anders recalled. “In the end, we lent resources to the other teams on the table,” Igor added.

Winners chip in front of a DELIVER! board game box lid with a warehouse in the background

The winning table established a good margin over their opponents, with Igor and Anders racking up an impressive 14 business value points.

DELIVER! is a relatively easy game designed to highlight the central role of problem management in maximising value creation.

The ITSM training game presents a holistic view of the current incidents and available resources, providing an experiential basis for discovery and insight. To learn more, click here

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