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!