Total-IT collection: Strategic planning in focus


UPGRADE! - Developing strategic thinking and planning skills

UPGRADE! is a holistic business simulation game designed to support a game-based learning session with focus on strategic planning, incorporating ITIL practices of strategy management and relationship management. In the game, each player is charged with modernizing the IT solutions used in a small manufacturing facility.

During the game, participants are constantly exposed to a need for strategic thinking through 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.

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, also available as a facilitated online simulation.

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

Strategic planning and demand management with UPGRADE!

...bringing you the IT Business layer focusing on strategic planning and IT demand management

Focus on ITIL

This section provides an overview of the coverage of the practices included in ITIL 4, within the business strategy game.

ITIL infographic for UPGRADE!.jpg

General management practices: Strategy management (high focus)

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.

General management practices: Relationship management (medium focus)

Contained in ITIL 4 foundation examination

Your main stakeholders are the users of the solutions and the solution sponsors, the managers in your facility responsible for the areas 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.

General management practices: Service financial management (medium focus)

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. 


Placing the strategic planning game in context

You and your competitors are each managing a small manufacturing facility with 4 key business areas

  • Administration

  • Manufacturing

  • Warehousing

  • Logistics

You have a degree of autonomy but must use a company approved solution in each of your business areas. Different solutions generate different business value, take varying amounts of resource to deploy and place a different demand for compute resources.

Each business area is supported by a solution which is upgraded through the game. You have three types of solution to choose from; gold, silver and bronze. Naturally the executive management team wants to have all business areas fully integrated with best-in-class solutions but you know that you can't achieve this in the time available. so it's a compromise. Do you focus on integration at the expense of maybe not having the best solution or do you go for the best solutions, knowing that you probably won't have time or money to fully integrate them?

Each year you have three action rounds in which the solutions can be upgraded, the number of users can be increased, management can be asked for financial commitments, system performance can be improved and solutions can be integrated. At the end of the year, you pay for the workload you have supporting your business areas and receive revenue for connected users

Your mission

You have been tasked with bringing the IT solutions up to date but you have limited time and money to get it done. The measure of your success is in the business value that you generate. You will need to secure additional budgetary support from the manager in each business area to succeed.

External resources

All the work done in the game is provided through an external agency with a company-wide agreement. The amount of work provided to cover those sites represented in the game is set at the beginning of the year

Upgrading your solutions

Over the course of the game you will be upgrading your solutions to better support your business. There is a price to pay for all the extra functionality though as you will increase your demand for compute resources.

Integrating your solutions

One of the ways you can generate business value from your solutions is to analyse and report. Integrating your solutions makes more data available, generating more insight.

UPGRADE! and IT demand management in context of Total-IT

UPGRADE! represent the top, business, layer of the Total-IT business simulation stack. Even though the game is intended for independent use, it is woven into the complete Total-IT simulation space with definable dependencies to/from the other layers.

This adds a richness to the experience and to the associated training delivered through the game.

You receive money from head office according to the number of trained users you have in the facility

You may receive money from the managers in the business areas if you have been spent time with them

You need to pay for the time used from the external sourcing partner

New solution versions are designed in the service layer and deployed in the infrastructure layer. They then become available for the business to upgrade

You need to pay for the compute resources needed to run your solutions

An external sourcing partner supports the business in their modernization activities

IT strategy management simulation game online