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Netmind - Apollo 13. IT Service Management Business Game

Apollo 13. IT Service Management Business Game

Apollo 13. IT Service Management Business Game

Houston, we have a problem

Fifty-five hours and fifty-five minutes into the mission. Imagine that you are aboard Apollo 13 when one of the members of your crew says they have heard a loud “bang”. This boom is the explosion of liquid oxygen tank #2 in the Service Module, which provides the vital oxygen used for the fuel cells, which are the main energy source for the Apollo craft. The emergency battery providing electricity to the Command/Service Module (CSM) has a useful lifespan of 10 hours. Unfortunately, you are 87 hours from home. Your spaceship is slowly turning off. You have a serious problem, unless you start to work as a team with the ground support team to resolve the situation.

But remember, time is running out… Hurry… Welcome to the Apollo 13 simulation game.


A day of entertainment which offers real life situations

Apollo 13 is an intense simulation game, a day of entertainment in which ITIL concepts and processes are practiced through the use of this interactive game. This practice simulates real knowledge based on the Apollo XIII mission. Participants will work as a team, playing the roles of the mission control centre in Houston.

Your mission: to bring the stalled spaceship and its crew home safe and sound. In this way, you will learn and experience all the advantages of the best practices of ITIL solutions.

What does the simulation game involve?


In this game there will be a group, the control centre, which will have 8 to 12 members. This team will carry out the four phases of the mission and its situations. In each turn the team will experience the following steps: design of the process, organisation of the simulation, reflection and report.

During the whole game several ITIL processes are required, which allow the ground personnel and crew to resolve problems and make the appropriate changes for the configuration and trajectory of the spaceship. This game can also be played by several teams of 8 people.

Apollo 13 netmind

Commentary after the mission

After the mission there will be critical discussions on what was done well and what was not. Could cooperation on the mission be improved? An analysis panel will exchange opinions on:

  • Determining the essential cause of the error (Problem Management).
  • Recommending a Service Improvement plan (Service Level Management).
  • Working to prevent future accidents (Problem and Change Management).
  • Approach to the game.
  • Reflection on the processes of the group.
  • Resolution of the error processes.
  • Transfer of experience obtained to daily practice.

NASA Service Level Agreements

The teams will receive score cards which represent the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with NASA (see below). At the end of each phase, the teams will report on the required service levels. Before each phase the elements of ITIL theory will be explained in relation with the processes that will be encountered in this specific turn. At the end of each phase the real Apollo 13 mission will be analysed and related with the ITIL processes, showing how the mission was carried out successfully using these processes.
The game is designed for

  • IT professionals, IT department managers, process managers, group administrators and anyone who wishes to improve their way of working.
  • Professionals who require greater knowledge or experience of ITIL.
  • Professionals who have attended the ITIL Foundation course and wish to learn the ITIL processes in practice.



  • Obtaining a better understanding of ITIL theories. Through examination of the case of Apollo 13, you will have to learn how to use ITIL processes in other environments.
  • Understanding the interdependence of processes and the impact of processes in business continuity.
  • Acquiring a better understanding of work processes. Learning how work projects of the service department can be improved.
  • Learning how to cooperate and perfect the work processes improving proposals and implementing them as a group.
  • Acquiring a greater insight into the potential improvements in your own work environment.



The simulation game was created by Jan Schilt and Paul Wilkinson. Both are specialists in the design and creative development of ways of learning. Jan Schilt has a degree in HRD, is certified in ITIL Service Management and uses learning processes in the development of ICT organisations. Paul Wilkinson is the author of an ITIL publication and has several years of experience in change management programmes. Paul is also the co-author of the “Not the ITIL” publication. Jan Schilt and Paul Wilkinson are successful lecturers and leaders of ITIL workshops.

Certificate of attendance

Certificate of attendance will be issued only to students with an attendance exceeding 75% and Diploma exploitation if they also pass the test.

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