Business Games

In-Tray

In Tray_ExerciseThe In-Tray exercise is a time management game enabling participants to learn by practical experience.

Fantastic value training activity – ideal for assessing or developing core competencies of decision making, prioritising, planning, time management, teamwork and leadership in your staff.

Ideal for individual or group assessment

Our time management training game is one of our most popular management games that top organisations buy. It is often used to assess an individual or a group at an assessment centre. It is also ideal for use as part of development training on a course.

The In-Tray Scenario

The following scenario is provided with the game, but you can amend it to suit your needs.

Your name is Chris Dearing, the General Manager of Toys Galore and your manager is Peter Davis.

Toys Galore are an online children’s toy retailer and you work in the head office.

Toys Galore’s previous General Manager went on long-term sick leave (due to stress) at the beginning of July and is unlikely to return to work. You are hired because you are an efficient, positive thinker who (it is hoped) will soon catch up with the work that has not been done for the last five weeks.

This situation has left a number of outstanding issues and the HR Director has asked for regular updates.

Today is Monday the 5 of August – your first day as Toys Galore’s General Manager.

Your assistant has left 16 documents in your In-tray for your attention. These appear in a variety of formats including emails, letters and notes. Some of these items may appear to describe isolated issues, while others link to one or more of the other items.

Your task is to:

1.  Prioritise the items and decide which communications need an instant response:

  1. High Urgency/High importance
  2. High Urgency/High importance
  3. High importance/Low Urgency
  4. High Urgency/Low Importance
  5. Low urgency/low importance.

 2.  Decide which items can be delegated.

 3.  Decide which items can be put into the diary.

 4.  Identify problems within the business and decide what should be done.

Notes

The exercise lasts 30 to 45 minutes depending on the ability of the participants and the number of emails used (you do not have to use them all).

While an individual or teams work on their inbox, emails continue to arrive. Will they interrupt their work to deal with emails or will they ignore them? What disciplines will they set up? Will they complete the exercise within the time and show good time management?

You can alter the type of documents according to the level of participants and areas you want to be covered.

You can appoint a leader for this exercise to see how they manage their team. Alternatively, see how the individual or team performs with their prioritising, planning and time management.

Are you looking for assessment centre exercises or time management activities? This In-Tray exercise is ideal for an assessment centre before recruiting staff or looking to promote staff. It is used on graduate induction courses and all types of management programmes where time management and teamwork is a focus.

What to do:

  1. Decide which documents to use (those supplied or include some of yours)
  2. Explain the purpose of the activity and what is required. Also explain that after they have completed the activity, they will be required to present their decisions.
  3. Issue each team (or individual) with a copy of the 16 documents provided.
  4. After 10 minutes add more emails at various times to see if they interrupt their work to deal with emails or will they ignore them and deal with them at a set time later? What disciplines will they set up?
  5. Observe them in action and make a note of any interesting behaviour, conflict or discussion.
  6. Listen to each presentation on their decisions. They can be informal with the groups merely stating what they did and discussing key issues or they can be a more formal with each item being discussed in depth.
  7. When each group has had its say, lead a general discussion of the exercise. Draw out what participants saw as the key issues they had to deal with regarding prioritising, time management and handling information. Then reveal the suggested answers and allow them time to compare with their own decisions. This usually promotes a lively discussion with some disagreement.
  8. Relate the issues in the exercise to those in the workplace. Summarise the key lessons using the notes in these notes.

Contents of the pack:

  • Trainer's Guide
  • Briefing Sheets for participants
  • Letters, emails and messages
  • Calendar and Organisation chart
The Trainer's Guide gives instructions on how to run the In-Tray exercise and provides useful training material on managing your In-Tray and Time Management.

Key skill areas:

  • Time Management
  • The role of a manger
  • Planning and Problem Solving
  • Prioritising
  • Analyse and Organising
  • Solving problems
  • Making decisions
  • Delegation
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership

Comments from Users of this In-Tray Exercise

“We use the In-Tray exercise for our supervisor and management courses. It soon gets them working and provides lots of evidence where they can develop in key areas like decision making, prioritising, planning, time management and leadership.”
“The In-Tray exercise is another excellent exercise we bought from you. Our Assessment Centre is now more realistic and enables us to evidence skills of potential candidates and those being considered for promotion.”

pdfDownload a PDF file of this In-Tray exercise

Buy this game and use it many times; or we will run it for you. Please contact us for more information.

Timing: This In-Tray exercise runs for 30 to 45 minutes + debrief.
Numbers: No limit – working individually or in teams.
Who: Staff at any level.
Computer: Not required.
Licence Free: There are no restrictions on how many times you can use this game.
Cost to buy and facilitate yourself: £250 + delivery and VAT (if applicable).

Buy this game with:

  • Credit Card, Debit Card or PayPal – Click on the “Add to cart” button below or contact us over the phone
  • Bank Transfer (please contact us for details)
  • Cheque in Pounds Sterling made out to Elite Training European Ltd.

Select Add to Cart to buy the In-Tray Exercise.

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Contact Us

Liz Garrard
Elite Training European Ltd
3 Parkers Place
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich
IP5 3UX
UK

Telephone: +44 (0)20 3290 1473

Email: games@elitetraining.co.uk

In-Tray Exercise

pdfDownload a PDF file of In-Tray

Timing: This business game runs for
30 to 45 minutes + Debrief.
Numbers: No limit - working individually
or in teams.
Who: Staff at any level.
Computer: Not required.
Licence Free: No restrictions on the number of
times you can use this game.
Cost to buy: £250 + delivery and VAT
(if applicable).

Buy this game with:

  • Credit or Debit Card. Click on the Add to cart button below or contact us to pay by phone
  • Bank Transfer (please ask for details)
  • Cheque in Pounds Sterling made out to Elite Training European Ltd
  • PayPal. Click on the Add to cart button below or contact us to pay by phone

Select Add to Cart to buy the In-Tray Exercise.

WorldPay will process your online card transaction and we will deliver the game(s) to you.

Buy this game and use it many times; or we will run it for you.  Please Contact Us for more information.

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Elite Training European Ltd

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3290 1473

Email: liz@elitetraining.co.uk

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