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Practice In Tray Exercise

Instructions
Please read the instructions on this page, then turn over the page to begin the
exercise.
Your assistant has left 10 items (documents) on your desk marked for your
attention. These appear in a variety of formats including emails, letters, etc., just
as you would use in an office environment. Some of these items may appear to
describe isolated issues, while others link to one or more of the other items. A
summary listing each item is provided for you on a subsequent page. You need to
review each item and then need to provide the following:
- A list of actions, written in brief, which include your analysis of the key issues in
each of the 10 items.
- The priority that you would assign for dealing with each item. Please use these
3 categories: high priority, medium priority, and low priority. When determining
these, a balance needs to be struck between urgent tasks (that need to be
completed as soon as possible) and important tasks (that have a high impact on
the business).
- Please include who should be involved. For example, if you want to forward an
item to a colleague, or if you want to call a meeting.

You have 60 minutes in which to complete this task. You are strongly advised to
spend the first 5-10 minutes reviewing the documents as a whole before
considering actions pertaining to each item. There is a template at the end of this
file for you to enter your Actions and Priority Ratings.

Role
You have joined the DOH through its Graduate Trainee Programmes and after 2
years have just received a new placement in the anti-smoking section as 2IC to
Tim Powers. You see this as an excellent opportunity to put what you have learnt
about management into practice.
There are a number of outstanding issues, some more urgent than others.
Although the Division Manager made it clear that he will be too busy to offer
much day-to-day support, you do have his authority to take whatever decisions
you feel are necessary. Tim has asked for regular updates, so you are advised not
to defer any important issues. You can delegate suitable tasks to your Assistant,
Fred Lopez.

Today is the 10th of June 2013 – your first day as Interim Section Manager.
ITEM 1 – STRUCTURE CHART

Anti-Smoking Freedom of
Section Head - Tim HR Information
Powers Compliance Office

YOU Wally Lamb Hung Lee Ruth Modan

Assistant - Fred
Lopez

Mary Luna

Jess Daioh

Ahmed Khan

Other Section Staff

ITEM 2 – EMAIL FROM SECTION HEAD

To: Liz Thompson


From: Tim Powers
Date: 2013-06-09

Re: New Position

Hi Liz,

Welcome to our section! Sorry I can’t be there to greet you – I’ve been told by
your previous manager that you are a creative thinker and you’ll be a great
addition to the team.

As you know our top priority is our people and I hope you will continue to
organise the monthly Innovation Group meetings – an open forum for members
of the grad program to share professional learning experiences.

There are a few other points I tell all new comers to remember, regardless of
their experience to date:

- we must be careful to abide by the APS code in all our actions.


- we need to promote DOH values in all we do.
- we need to keep expenses to a minimum.
- we are a team. As individuals, we all bring a range of different skills and I’d like
you to focus on developing the talents of those in the section

We can catch up when I’m back from Sydney – I know Fred has left a few things
for you to be getting on with. Keep me posted on how things are getting on.

Best wishes,

Tim Powers

ITEM 3 – STAFF OPINION SURVEY RESULTS

FYI – just back from the latest staff survey.


-Hung Lee, HR

Q. No. Question % % % % Agree %


Strongly Disagree Cannot Strongly
disagree tell agree
5 My manager 10 19 40 21 10
coaches and
supports me
8 I received all 16 45 15 15 9
the training I
need
10 I have a clear 13 35 30 18 3
career
development
plan
13 I am able to 18 47 18 10 7
manage my
workload
15 I fully 16 18 33 19 14
understand
the APS
values
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10 Section
0 Dept. Avg.

ITEM 4 – EMAIL FROM COLLEAGUE

FROM: Jess Daioh


TO: Liz Thompson
DATE: 2013-06-08

Dear Liz,

I’m working on a policy brief on the plain-packing laws. I remember Tanya said
some things the night before it started but can’t locate them. Any chance you
could have a ferret around – it’s probably really obvious where the transcript is
and I’m just being blind!

Thanks,
Jess

ITEM 5 – MEDIA RELEASE

Hi Liz,
Can you have a look at this media release? Is there anything I need to fix? Would
love to get it out ASAP.
Mary

Joint Release

Health Minister, The Hon Tania Plibersek, today lunched a brand new wave of
smoking advertising in the Australian Government’s latest global-leading efforts
to help Australians stop smoking for good.

The new National Tobacco Campagn “Stop before the Suffering Starts” highlights
the immense suffering people, and their families’ can go through as a
consequence of smoking related diseases like emphysema.
“Smoking is known to cause harm to nearly every organ and system of your
body. Many medical conditions caused by smoking can result in not just death,
but in living for years of suffering with disabling health problems,” Minister
Plibersek said.

“Tobacco smoking is still the single large cause of preventable premature death
and disease in Australia – it kills 15,000 Australians each year and costs the
economy $31.5 billion.

“We want to let people know the health dangers associated with smoking and
help to prevent hundreds of thousands of Australians from suffering as a result
of smoking related illnesses," said Ms Plibersek.

Advertising is part of the Government’s strategie to reduce smoking rates to 10%


by 2018 AD, other measures include our world first plain packaging legislation
and putting smoking replacement therapies onto the PBS.

The campaigns’ focus on suffering, as a result of smoking related illnesses, is an


extension of previous Australian Government anti-smoking messagin and
acknowledges the significant impact that these illnesses have on smokers and
their families.

Advertising starts today via TV, FM and AM radio, online and in print and social
media (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram) and runs through to
June 2013.

ITEM 6 – EMAIL RE: GRAD PROGRAM

FROM: Wally Lamb


TO: All graduate program
DATE: 2013-06-02

Hi all,

We are looking at reworking the grad program website to make it a bit friendlier.
When you get a minute could you have a look and send me any comments you
have and maybe a brief testimonial?

Thanks,

Wally

ITEM 7 – TRAINING WORKSHOP

FROM: Wally Lamb


TO: All graduate program
DATE: 2013-06-02
Hi all,

Here is the next round of personal skills courses. Please send booking requests
for these workshops to wally.lamb@doh.gov.au
Places guaranteed if bookings are made within the next 2 weeks.

Workshop
Written communication skills
Coaching your colleagues to success
Making difficult stakeholder relationships work
Best practice in project management
Managing staff – APS basics

ITEM 8 – FOI REQUEST

FROM: Ruth Modan


TO: Liz Thompson
DATE: 2013-06-01

Hi Liz,

I’ve got an FOI here for any and all material we have relating to British American
Tabaco between May 2012 and January 2013. Could you please check with
everyone in your section and send me an itemised list?

Thanks,

Ruth

ITEM 9 – EMAIL FROM CONFERENCE ORGANISER

FROM: Conference Systems Canberra


TO: Liz Thompson
DATE: 2013-06-09

Hi Liz,

I tried to call you this morning about some of the details of the setup for the
upcoming anti-smoking conference. Could you give me a buzz on 0428991974 as
I will be out of the office today and I’ll run a few things by you.

Cheers,

Tom

ITEM 10 – MEDIA RELEASE

Hi Liz,
I was hoping you would be able to do some research on the Quit Now: My
QuitBuddy and Quit For You, Quit For Two apps the DOH has put out and get a
draft media release covering the following points together:

- impact
- policy context
- target audience
- availability of the apps

Do you have any ideas who it would be worth getting some supporting quotes
from?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts – shoot me a line if you need anything.

Ahmed Khan
Item Key issues and recommended actions Priority
No. (high,
medium,
or low)
1

3
4

6
7

9
10