Simulations need to have or nice to have?

We currently find that many organizations are very critical of the value of ITSM training investments. They have spent enormous amounts of money but fail to see the changes in behavior and quality they had hoped for.  IT budgets are being put under increasing pressure. The days of sending everybody to a 3 or 4 day training are no longer an option. However we all need to keep investing in our employees, otherwise we will lose them, and the quality of our services will suffer. Many organizations also face serious issues in the way the work is done. In many organizations the ITSM capabilities do not support business demands. Quality and efficiency need improving, yet there are less resources. How can we train employees in an effective and cost efficient way, ensuring that the training results in improved performance?

  1. We need to ensure that training will be a mixture of theory, skills and behavior that guarantees a faster transfer of knowledge.
  2. We need to ensure that employees work on items that make sense to their work environment so they are motivated to learn.
  3. We need to ensure that the training develops competences that will support the process of solving actual problems.
  4. We must be sure the training is fun for everyone.

A learning instrument that combines all of these are ‘Simulations’.

A simulation is – A dynamic model of essential elements of a real or hypothetical system, process or environment. In a simulation we have actors (participants) who play a role, we have limited rules and we have a safe environment in which participants can learn.

During a Business Simulation we simulate business processes and scenarios that are recognized by the participants. The environment is challenging and realistic. During the simulation the participants will have to design their own processes and work together as a team. They will have to  execute and improve their processes and agreed ways of working. Most simulations consists of a number of rounds, this gives teams the chance to reflect, discuss and learn to improve.

Objectives of these simulations are:

  • Create awareness and motivation within the team to start organizational change programs or to introduce new ways of working;
  • Learn to apply new knowledge after training, translating theory into practice;
  • Assess the current way of working, to get buy-in from the team for a need to change;
  • Experience new ways of working, let participants experience new tools, new processes, new ways of behaving, new roles and responsibilities;
  • Develop personal skills, let participants experience new roles;
  • Support team development;

Forrester: “Considering the enormity of change that an ITIL project may entail, spending the day that such simulators require should pay back many times over with the creation of a cohesive team with a greater understanding of the components, interrelationships, and vision that are required to successfully transform an IT organization.”

In order to get maximum results out of a simulation, the following items need to be explored:

  • What is the problem?
  • How to select and customize the game?
  • How to transfer learning into the working environment?
  • How to measure the impact and results?
  • How to crate maximum outcome and results on the Business?
  • What were the actual outcomes after some weeks?



I went back to the office after the Apollo sessions and everyone is talking about how they can use the ITIL concepts on their existing projects. There are Saturn V rockets on every whiteboard”, IT Director

“We’ve all been through six sigma, TQM and ISO training, which were a waste of time. I started the day thinking this training will be the same. Now that I’ve been through the simulation training I can honestly say it’s the best training I’ve ever been on. I’m going to use this”, IT Services Director


This business simulation empowers our employees to translate the WHAT of ITIL to processes and activities. This gives us faster acceptance and quicker integration of the processes in our employee’s day-to-day work. It’s shows us exactly what we need to do in order to stop running and start implementing a controlled and repeatable way of working”, CIO 

Living our values within OIB is at the heart of our success. Programs like this business simulation and the ABC games stimulate the right behavior within OIB helping drive the cultural changes needed to reach our strategic objectives.”, CIO


Using this Business Simulation with my teams made the tool implementation a success. We did not see any resistance from our employees against this new way of working, we saw employees improving their own way of working.” ICT Manager Library of Rotterdam