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Play It Again, Sim

Jun 19, 2007

Jennifer Zaino

“Simulations are a great way to immerse people in a way that they remember what they’re learning,” he says, typically in just a day or a half-day’s time. It’s an approach that has worked well for the military since forever, says Sutherland.

“Many of us [in the company] are from a military background and we couldn’t understand that organizations rarely simulate and train their people and staff that way,” he says. “In the military we are constantly simulating, because you can’t go to war every day.”

But when you do, you’ve really got to be able to put the principles you’ve learned into practice. Games work because they’re fun, and people remember the experience, he says.

“And if they think back for second, they’ll remember that in the game we had chaos, we understood how to prioritize, we put in incident management, then a service catalog, then change management, and had to have process in place to do that,” he says. “One hundred slides in a Powerpoint deck discussing the value of incident management is not going to give you a real, tangible reference point to that.”

Organizations may get to the goal of providing more employees with an end-to-end understanding of the lifecycle for delivering quality of service using other educational approaches, Sutherland acknowledges. No surprise that G2G3 has a bias toward it own approach, he says, but the important part is that companies take some approach to “doing the cultural work to get into [employees’] hearts and minds, break down the silo mentality that exists in the entire IT environment, to deliver value in projects and services.”

The company launched its ITIL V3 simulation just a few weeks ago, and Sutherland says it’s getting a lot of interest. Because it doesn’t have to go into the minutiae of ITIL as do traditional courseware vendors, and instead takes the 5,000-foot view, G2G3 was able to pull the simulation together based on information that’s been coming out about V3 since last November. “People haven’t absorbed the library of books yet,” says Sutherland. “They understand it may be a good thing, but they really don’t understand it. This is a risk-free way to find out without having to commit everyone and everything.”

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