Sure beats PowerPoint

We've been hearing much about the IT Infrastructure Library, a set of British best-practice recommendations and common IT definitions. We're told ITIL's useful for sharing technical information across various disciplines. Like other abstract IT acronyms, though, it can be difficult to wrap your head around. Computer Associates International Inc. of Islandia, N.Y., (now operating as CA) has found an enjoyable way of teaching its federal customers ITIL using a role-playing game based on the 'Apollo 13' movie and developed by GamingWorks BV of Bodegraven, Netherlands. In this interactive session, participants break into groups, each in charge of a different aspect of the spaceflight mission. One assembles the spacecraft, another oversees launch and a third does troubleshooting. Unbeknownst to the participants, each group represents a different ITIL functional area: Incident Management, Change Management, Re- lease Management, etc.

Participants get so involved in the mission they don't even realize they're working within an ITIL framework, said David Yachnin, director of CA's Federal Technology Office. CA has used the game to get folks at the Energy Department up to speed, Yachnin said. A good idea, but why stop at ITIL? GCN Insider sees money-making opportunities for other movies that explain complex IT concepts. How about 'The Money Pit' for service-oriented architectures?

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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