Managerial In-Basket Exercise 810

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The Managerial In-Basket Exercise 810 provides rich and unique information on the overall ability to manage at the senior manager level.

The information yielded on managerial effectiveness can be highly useful in selecting people for management positions. It can be used for screening purposes or to rank candidates in terms of their managerial ability. It can also establish the training and development needs of current or potential managers, and it can assist in determining organizational development needs, and in career transition counselling.

What Competencies are Assessed

The Managerial In-Basket Exercise 810 evaluates the ability to manage, and results are expressed in terms of a global score. In addition, candidates receive a sub-score out of 5 on each of the following specific managerial abilities: Planning, Directing, Analyzing, Empowering, and Organizing.

The sum of the scores on the five specific managerial abilities gives the candidate's score on overall ability to manage, which can vary from 0 to 25. The individual sub-scores on the specific managerial abilities are not intended to be used on their own. Hence, these sub-scores should not be used for screening purposes.

A description of each of these competencies is given below.

How the In-Basket Works

The Managerial In-Basket Exercise 810 simulates the important aspects of a management job. The individual takes on the duties of a general manager of an organization.

At the time of the assessment, the individual receives:

  • background information, including the organization's mission statement and organizational chart.
  • documents similar to items normally found in a manager's in-basket, such as memos, letters, and reports.

The Managerial In-Basket Exercise 810 takes 3 ¼ hours, with an additional 15 minutes for administration purposes. During the 3 ¼ hours, the individual must do the following:

  • become familiar with the organization and the material in the in-basket.
  • respond to the items as if actually on the job, by writing memos and letters, planning meetings, preparing agendas, delegating tasks, etc. All actions or plans of action must be indicated in writing. (2 ½ hours)
  • explain the approach taken with each item. (45 minutes)


Each action is evaluated within the context of the particular problem under consideration, the organizational environment, and other actions taken. The judgement of executives and senior managers concerning the appropriateness of decisions and actions taken is the standard against which the responses are evaluated.

The actions taken and planned in dealing with the problems presented in the Managerial In-Basket Exercise 810 are evaluated in terms of their effectiveness within the context of the specific managerial competencies. Each of these specific competencies is rated on a scale from 0 to 5, with 5 being “very high”.

The sum of the ratings on the five specific managerial competencies gives the individual's rating on overall ability to manage. The overall score can vary from 0 to 25. Managers holding an appointment process can set the cut-off score based on the ability required by the position. They should consult the “Guidelines for Using the Managerial In-Basket Exercise (810)”, which are available from the PPC.

Definitions of Competencies


Plans and initiates effective approaches or actions in response to organizational problems that are related to program, project, finance, and personnel or public demands. Included are such activities as planning meetings to discuss problems and action plans; initiating investigations; taking steps to prepare agenda, reports, speeches, and other documents; recommending alternative approaches; and improving or modifying programs and systems.


Provides staff with effective leadership and guidance, and establishes the necessary feedback mechanisms for monitoring activities and costs.


Analyzes and evaluates personnel, operational, organizational and budgetary problems. This includes identifying common elements, inter-relationships and underlying causes of problems; indicating approaches to solutions; and relating solutions to broader issues and organizational implications.


Effectively delegates work to staff, taking into consideration their capabilities and responsibilities; ensures the effective assignment of operational functions and establishes provisions for follow-up.


Organizes work and activities through the use of systematic time management. Develops orderly procedures and methods that will, over the long term, ensure maximum use of time and human resources. Included in this category are such activities as scheduling work systematically, using a calendar to organize activities, and critically evaluating demands on time.

Retest Period

There is a 180 day waiting period before you can rewrite the test. You may not retake it until the retest period has elapsed. If you rewrite the test before the retest period has elapsed, your result will not be valid and a new retest period will be imposed from the most recent test date.

Candidate Information

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