Monday, 1 September 2008

The Shipping Forecast

As part of our preparation for implementing ITIL, we had an awareness session today for some of our senior managers. For most of the day we took part in a game - running a port! We all had different roles - port schedulers, service desk, infrastructure managers, finance mangers, service managers - and had to schedule ships of different sizes, cargos etc, into a port with different bays, cranes etc, whilst coping with a number of different incidents, ranging from crane failures to complete power failures and port closure. It was great fun! We were allocated roles by the facilitator, and I ended up as one of the service desk staff. Other interesting allocations included 3 of the current customer service team as back room infrastructure engineers. We played 4 rounds of the game, each lasting 24 minutes and after each round had to make a number of process improvements to improve our service, which was mainly measured on service uptime and profit.

The first round was rubbish - no proper processes, the service desk not communicating properly with the infrastructure team (and vice versa!), the schedulers not communicating with the service desk. We lost a fortune, and only had 44% up time! Gradually we made process changes, nominated proper communication channels, put in resilence, built in problem management and service continuity, and developed a knowledge base. By the end of round 4, we'd made a profit and got to 90% up time.

I said it was great fun, but we learnt an awful lot, and I think saw how ITIL could work in practice. I also found out how stressful it can be on a helpdesk!


Anonymous said...

Are you able to let us know who it was who ran the session?

Chris Sexton said...

In answer to a number of people, the exercise was run by Fox IT.