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Play It Again, Sim

One company that specializes in training simulations says the approach brings ITSM concepts to life for a larger number of individuals in the IT organization.
Jun 19, 2007

Jennifer Zaino

What’s the application developer’s role in helping an organization implement an IT service management discipline such as ITIL, or an IT governance initiative? Such an individual doesn’t have a specific part to play in the institution and instantiation of the best management or governance practice, but perhaps that person’s job function should be viewed in the bigger picture context of where they fit in the organization’s overall lifecycle and value chain.

With the increased emphasis on business-technology alignment in ITIL V3, for example, some vendors are saying that more companies need to expand exposure to the discipline beyond the individual evangelists and subject matter experts who will go through the ITIL Foundations course to gain certification.

“ITIL V2 was focused on IT operations, though it alluded to communicating with other parts of the organization and alignment. But it didn’t give you prescriptive guidance on how to do that,” says Mark Ross Sutherland, CEO of G2G3, a consulting and communications company that provides gaming simulations to help companies achieve business-IT alignment. “With the lifecycle approach [of V3] that reflects the real-world enterprise IT environment, it’s very important to come at this in a holistic way.”

Whether it’s ITIL, other ITSM frameworks, SOA or other practices, these days the name of the game is bringing services to market more quickly, and becoming more competitive, says Sutherland, and to do that an organization needs all the players on the team ready to play in the most effective way.

Understanding the ecosystem

Application developers, for instance, can’t afford to be out of the office for days to sit for traditional ITIL ITSM instruction — nor are they likely to come away from the experience with much, if any, understanding on how their work ultimately impacts colleagues in operations engaged in service management initiatives.

“It won’t bring to life the importance of what they do and where they need to consider their impact in the lifecycle,” and on the company’s performance, says Sutherland. “This is an ecosystem now and people need to understand what part they play.”

In so doing, Sutherland envisions benefits including projects delivering on their goals — which today doesn’t happen in about 80% of the cases — and a better understanding of the role they play in driving the business forward.

Traditional learning tools have their place, he says, but for a wide swath of users simulations make the dynamics real in a way that helps break down the barriers that typically separate IT silos.

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