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Learn how DELIVER! helps simplify ITSM training

Problem management is key to pivoting from reactive "fire-fighting"  to proactive value creation.

This is the game everyone in IT should play!

You may have reflected that you seem to be spending a lot of time fixing incidents and maintaining your SLAs, but things don't seem to be getting any better.

Playing “DELIVER!” introduces a cross-functional, agile, holistic approach to ITSM with a focus on actively reducing the likelihood of incidents through problem management.

 

You will be aiming to create and understand the best tactical approach to deliver the most benefit to your customers whilst continually improving the resilience of your IT landscape.

 

The gameplay progresses in a series of rounds with each round seeing input from the service desk and events, setting the operational challenges for the round.

 

"DELIVER!" develops a cross-functional understanding of the holistic nature of event, incident, problem, request, and knowledge areas of ITIL.

Playing the game, provides the basis to establish a practical tactical approach to prioritisation of activities, whether they be handling an incident, establishing a root cause or continuously improving the service.

 

The interactive nature of the game develops many soft skills including communications, teamwork, time management, and leadership.

 

In the game, each team is managing their own service along with its underlying systems and technical platforms. They are also supporting, from an operational point, other shared services, leading to a semi-cooperative approach in the gameplay. The players must continually improve their services whilst maintaining their support promise to their customers.

 

All of the operational activities put a heavy demand on the limited resources available to each team, and it is this aspect that leads to the development of a successful tactical approach.

Overview of process used in the DELIVER! ITSM training game, including sections of Requirement to Deploy, Request to Fulfil , and Detect to Correct

Key ITSM skills in DELIVER!

Events and Incident management

In DELIVER!, events, from solution monitoring are either informational or exception events. Exception events generate priority 1, 2, or 3 incidents that need to be fixed in time.

Register known errors

Knowledge management is at play to allow you to document known errors with the information you gain fixing an incident. Defining known errors and their handling, makes it easier to fix a future incident of the same type, requiring fewer resources.

Perform root cause analysis

Problem management will help you to identify the root cause and remove the issue to create resilience in your IT landscape. Where resilience is created events are informational only.

Service request handling

From time to time, you receive a user request from service desk. These need to be attended to and will, initially, require resources to deliver. There is always the alternative of automating request to free up your resources but automation also takes resource during its implementation.

DELIVER! player indicating an area on the player board whilst discussing with other players

Continual improvement

Stay sensitive to the changing needs of the business, implementing improvements in your service that will improve value contribution.

Work in an agile manner

You are continually reviewing the activities that need your attention and dynamically prioritising them to achieve the best business value both in the short term and for the future.

Hand reaching towards a futuristic representation of a holographic interface showing soft skills

Key soft skills covered by DELIVER!

DELIVER! is a semi-cooperative game, which means that players need to engage with each other during the game.

Whenever new learning is involved, some within the group will understand quicker than others. The choice to help each other to understand so that collectively the group is better equipped, ticks many of the soft skills areas. The game is a collective journey of understanding and discovery.

Teamwork

There are two levels of teamwork incorporated into the game: those playing on the same team and the group of all teams.

Leadership

It is often the case that multiple avenues for progression are available, and it is here that leadership plays a role. Players must agree on a common cause of action that benefits both their own team and the whole group

Communication

Closely associated with the teamwork aspect and an enabler of success is the ability to communicate. This necessarily includes the ability to listen

ITIL practices featured in DELIVER!

Monitoring & Event management

Incident management

Events received from Monitoring & Event management will be considered as exception events if there is insufficient resilience in your service, and generate an incidents. Incident management sets out to minimize the disruption caused to the service in line with the agreed service level. Incidents are prioritised P1, P2 or P3, with P1 incidents requiring immediate action. The clock is ticking and each round, any unresolved incidents become more urgent.

As you resolve incidents you can take extra time to create a knowledge article to document a known error.

This will help future incident resolution go smoother and also can pave the way for future problem management.

Generated events are informational, warning or exception. the game focuses on exception events and informational events.

ITIL word cloud

Continual improvement

To secure a more reliable performance from your service you may choose to investigate in depth, one of the areas to which has previously been added a knowledge article. This takes a concerted effort but results in a more resilient service.

Problem management

Knowledge management

Requests are received through your service desk and must be addressed as they arrive. You have the option to develop automated request handling to reduce the load on your resources.

You are trying to create business value through continually improving your service. You have a backlog of improvements that you have already identified but can visit your users to find out what's really important for them.

Request management

Example value streams in DELIVER!

Manage automated event

Monitoring is set up for the infrastructure, communications, data, etc. The results from monitoring are assessed against thresholds that define expected behaviour. In the event that the thresholds are exceeded, an event is generated.

Some events may be indicative of an impending major disruption, others may indicate have less severe impact. The nature of the event's impact will determine the priority of the generated incident which, in turn, sets the prioritisation for its resolution.

Resolving an incident takes resource to both analyse the issue and correct or implement a workaround. 

The resolution time can be improved by registering the knowledge gained for use in handling similar incidents in future. 

So, we have several practices working together to deliver this value stream: Monitoring and event management, Incident management, and knowledge management. The activity of analysing the incident will generally also be supported by service configuration management through the CMDB (configuration management database). Helping with prioritisation we would also have contribution from availability management.

Furturistic overlay representing infrstructure monitoring with a person behind it
Person with laptop reaching out to a conceptual holographic layer depicting a user request in progress

Handle user request

Each request has a perceived or actual value to a user, granting them access to a system, improving their knowledge, producing a report, etc. These requests can be effectively handed case by case with your resources, but at a cost of both the resources needed. Resources cost the organisation in two ways: firstly, there's the hourly rate of the resource, and secondly, the disruption caused by not having that resource available for other activities. To improve request handling, the value received should be increased and/or the cost of delivering that value should be reduced. In this game we are focusing on reducing the cost through automation. This takes investment in time but ultimately leads to request handling with minimal cost, though still generating the same value to the user. Not covered in the game would be options to extend the number of requests available to the user or to improve the user experience in the request process. Multiple practices will be involved in this value stream, depending on the nature of the request.

Increase IT resilience

This tactical value stream is directly associated with problem management in that the root cause of issues are established and removed. Thereby ensuring that the issue does not reoccur.

The value generated is seen in a number of areas: the reliability of the services is increased leading to better user satisfaction, the disruption caused by an incident is reduced, and the resource load is also reduced, freeing time for other value-creating activities.

In practice, this is difficult to measure directly but the reduction of event and incident levels is indirectly indicative of an improved resilience.

Within the game, the resilience is easily understood due to its design.

Person with laptop and an overlay representing infrastructure resilience
A hand reaching out from behind a futuristic holographic display to select customer improvements for an IT service

Deliver customer improvement

This is another tactical value stream, delivering value directly to the user in the form of improved functionality, capability and/or experience.

Each DevOps team has a backlog of tasks that they wish to address. However, whilst these will generate business value, they may not be the most effective use of the available resources, when focused on business value. 

To understand the pain points felt by the user and the potential gains that can be delivered, it is necessary to engage with the business and its representatives, your users and stakeholders. This reveals new tasks that can be added top your backlog and allows more flexibility in deciding which is the best use of the resources at your disposal.

Get a copy of DELIVER! or play online

Game box for the DELIVER! ITSM training game, shown in 3D
Overview of the game componets for he serious board game of Tactical ITSM and Dev-Ops, DELIVER!

Print to order

Running a game session

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. DELIVER! has no plastic components other than storage bags.

DELIVER! is an easy-to-play board game for up to 8 players. It is recommended to allow 90 minutes for the game itself and a further hour for initial setup and post-game reflections and discussions. This can be extended if time permits.

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