Business simulation games for effective training.

Business simulation games

A business simulation game delivers a real-world scenario through an on-line or physical gaming medium for immersive, experiential learning.

Business simulations incorporate processes, activities, decisions and consequences appropriate to their specific scenario. By necessity. the real-world is simplified and edited to work within the physical and time constraints of the chosen game form. The simulation must therefore ensure that its game elements cover the main aspects of reality without becoming bogged down with the minutiae, which can render the game unplayable.

The Total-IT collection

The Total-IT collection is a unique training resource, available under license, for trainers to run game-based learning sessions themed around and within the world of corporate IT. In all, there are 3 business simulation games covering three different but complimentary perspectives; business (“UPGRADE!”), service (“Stabil-IT”) and Infrastructure (“DEPLOY!”). Whilst each game stands alone, together they form a complete view of IT, further supported with common terminology and iconography ensuring that they are perceived as different views of the same complete picture.

The games are trainer editions of our unique business simulation games, specifically adapted for speedy setup and shortened time to independent play (TIP). The games are rich in detail and context supporting extended discussion and analysis of the concepts in the game and how they can be applied to the real world. All games are aligned with ITIL covering many of the practices introduced in ITIL4.

For example, “DEPLOY!” explores of optimization as it relates to IT capacity management and licensing costs within the context of deploying and running workloads from IT projects.

As is common with game-based learning solutions, all three games incorporate soft skills in the gaming experience. 


The Total-IT collection in context

Each business simulation game included in Total-IT represents a layer of the IT landscape; business, service and infrastructure. Together they provide a holistic view of corporate IT.

The business layer shows IT from the point of view of the users of the services and the managers of the impacted business areas.

The service layer looks at end to end service management, focusing on keeping the services running for the business and introducing improvements that will bring more business value. All of this is done with a simplified agile methodology.

The infrastructure layer provides the technical platforms on which the services are run whether they are in a server-room or in the cloud. Building and training the right team to manage the deployments goes a long way to success.

Deployed projects become available for the business to upgrade

Life-cycling generates a new version of a solution which a product team submits as a project for deployment

The business users submit request for service improvements to the service layer

An external sourcing partner supports the business in their modernization activities

Periodically the technical platforms are life-cycled. The plan for life-cycling is given to the service layer

Training companies provide courses to improve the skills at the infrastructure layer

Hardware suppliers bring next generation equipment to the infrastructure layer, boosting its capacity

Technology companies provide automation to improve the capabilities of the infrastructure layer

Cloud providers deliver an alternative capacity source.

The knowledge space

As well addressing training of soft skills, each business strategy game in Total-IT covers a more focused learning experience:


The business layer, "UPGRADE!" helps to develop strategic and tactical planning.

The service layer, "Stabil-IT" focuses on service management with an agile mindset.

The infrastructure layer "DEPLOY!" drills into optimization and capacity management.


About the Total-IT simulation games

The Total-IT business simulation games can be played separately or sequentially, developing the story of IT.

Each simulation represents a layer of IT and is intended for 3-4 teams of 1-3 players per team, taking around 3 hours to complete.

Agile service management in the service layer: Stabil-IT

“Stabil-IT” features incident management, problem management, release management and knowledge management in the service layer of a company's IT organization. Actions are achieved though sprints with a simplified application of Agile methodology.

Each team is managing their own solution area as well as working on other, jointly maintained solution areas, leading to a semi-cooperative approach in the game-play. The teams must produce new releases of all solutions, address user concerns, resolve any incidents and create increasing stability to generate business value.

The game features 6 solution areas, one is assigned to each team with the remainder being maintained jointly. All 6 solution areas form a single central board on which all game-play takes place.

Stabil-IT setup small.png

IT capacity management in the infrastructure layer: DEPLOY!

“DEPLOY!” covers infrastructure and platform management as well as deployment management with a focus on capacity planning and optimization.

Each team manages their own server-room/data-centre in which they add, remove and balance the capacity that supports the workloads coming from the projects they deploy - some of which were the result of the new releases generated in the service layer above.

As well as being able to manage their capacity, teams can develop their skills and technology. They can also extend the amount of work they can achieve by moving extra workers in from other areas of the business.

IT capacity management simulation game - DEPLOY!

Strategic planning in the business layer: UPGRADE!

“UPGRADE!” covers the business layer, where each team is managing the IT systems in a small production facility. They have been tasked with updating and integrating the systems to generate maximum business value.

Each team has their own production facility featuring four business areas; Logistics, Administration, Manufacturing and Warehousing. Each business area has a group of users and an IT solution. Over the course of the game additional users are trained, the systems are upgraded, and the costs are controlled by managing the demand for computer resources. Systems can be integrated, and reports generated to earn more business value. Key to success in the game is effective use of influence in lobbying for financial commitment from the manager in each business area.

The work is outsourced to a single external company supporting all teams and their ambitions, requiring that the teams collectively make good use of the planned time available to them.

Business simulation game - UPGRADE!

Testimonials: what the players say

The games give you an insight into the world of running the backbone of IT. Built on tactical thinking rather than random dice throwing, but still with some impact of the unforeseen...

Complex and interactive games, simulating IT in a safe environment where discussions are a fun and important part of the game

Tremendously impressed with the level of proficiency, and the layers of logic. I think both people in the digital business and others can understand, have fun and some insight as well! Got to give it a bit of time to get into the rules and intricacies.

Challenging, fun and some true recognitions from day-to-day work

An excellent game! It challenges one to think strategically and every decision you make will eventually have a consequence in sense of profit, business value and capacity…

This is an outstanding game! I am totally impressed how well thought, designed and built it is… Can't wait to gather in the group and play again :-).

…In the beginning it feels overwhelming with all the different possibilities and rules, but after a round or two you explore the different tactics and enjoy it the more you play it…

…This is a game you need to be analytical and plan ahead. During the game you realize how well it is based on running a real IT business. Thumbs up!

Enjoyed playing this game. It requires you to analyze the opponents to find benefits for you and blocking their strategies. I already have recommended this to my friends and people I talked board games with…

I’ve been playing a few of the Total-IT simulations and have enjoyed them very much. They are well designed and give a challenge every time. You can also increase the complexity if you want a bigger challenge.