top of page

Develop your strategic thinking with UPGRADE!

Work with your stakeholders to deliver business value whilst carefully managing your demand and associated costs

UPGRADE! is an interactive, holistic business simulation game, designed to simplify ITSM training by providing an absorbing experience. It is designed to support a game-based learning session with focus on strategic planning, demand management, and the need to engage with your stakeholders. The game incorporates such ITIL practices as strategy management and relationship management.

The game has been designed with 4 different setup options enabling you to adjust the difficulty level according to your session goals, participants, and available time.


In the game, each player or team is managing a small production facility comprising 4 departments:

Administration, Manufacturing, Warehousing and Logistics. You are charged with modernising the IT landscape in your facility.

During the game, participants are constantly need to a think strategically strategically, incorporating both tactical planning and strategic planning, all with a backdrop of IT demand management. Players are rewarded for accurately planning their next set of actions, but penalise if they fail to complete what has been planned.

The game as a whole requires careful timing and choice of the available actions in order that the maximum benefit is achieved with the limited financial and worker resources available.

Every step counts in this absorbing business simulation game.

UPGRADE! is available as physical game, with a playable online version to support remote sessions and trainer development. 

Key ITSM skills in UPGRADE!

Demand management

Be careful not to overstretch yourself by using more compute resources than you can afford.

Customer engagement

Meeting with the department managers is vital to be able to deliver what they really need and to secure financial help along the way.

Systems optimisation

Careful adjustment of the systems and their resources will allow you to maximise their performance.

User training

Give your users the extra knowledge they need to really get the most from the systems.

Data utilisation

Generate business value by creating insightful reports from the data in one or more of your systems.

Close up of the integration section of a player's facility mat in UPGRADE!
Hand reaching towards a futuristic representation of a holographic interface showing soft skills

Key soft skills covered by UPGRADE!

Whilst UPGRADE! is predominantly competitive, there is a high degree of interaction with other players during the game. 

Whenever new learning is involved, some within the group will understand quicker than others. However, given the competitive nature of the game, some may choose to withhold their support.


There are two levels of teamwork incorporated into the game: those playing on the same team and the group of all teams. Once again, the competitive nature of the game can be revealing here.

Analytical thinking

At every step in the game, it is important to evaluate the options available to you and make the decide on your best course of action. This involves not only what to do but also when to do it. Timing can be crucial to success.

ITIL practices featured in UPGRADE!

Strategy management

​In-keeping with the definition of strategy management you will be deciding how best to use your available time and money to achieve the stated mission. This will include both tactical and strategic decisions over the course of the simulation.

Service financial management

The goals of the company are ambitious and demand much of your financial management. You have limited financial resources available to you and you must use your investments to their maximum at each step of the way.

Relationship management

Your main stakeholders are the users of the solutions and the solution sponsors, the managers in your facility responsible for the departments impacted by the solutions. You working to train additional users in the solution areas to make them more effective. This will bring you influence which you can use to secure additional funding from the area sponsor. It is important that you pay close attention to the sponsors over the course of the simulation in order that you can maximize the business value you deliver to the company.

ITIL word cloud

Get a copy of UPGRADE! or play online

3D image of the game box for UPGRADE!
An overview of all the components in the game of UPGRADE! (excluding bags)

Print to order

The game is available to purchase online. It is printed to order so may take a few weeks to arrive.

The games are produced in the US.

Minimal use of plastics

The environment is important to us so, as much as possible, we minimise the amount of plastic used in our games, with the majority of components being card or wood. UPGRADE! has just one plastic component along with a small number of bags to keep your components secure.

Running a game session

UPGRADE! is a board gamed for up to 8 players. It has four different ways to setup, providing difficulty levels varying from easy to challenging. It is recommended to allow 90-180 minutes for the game itself, depending on the selected difficulty, and a further hour for initial setup and post-game reflections and discussions. This can be extended if time permits.

bottom of page