Games Index
Team Building Exercises


Description of a Team Building Exercise

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  • A powerful exercise for learning how to work together, communicate and seek to improve performance in medium sized groups.
  • Randomly lay out up to 30 numbered markers or spots in a set area. This forms the keypad.
  • Create a starting/finish point up to 10 yards beyond the set area- the group must assemble here-hence they do not have clear view of the keypad either before the first attempt or in between attempts.
  • Briefing: The group must touch all the numbered spots as fast as they can. The team is given five attempts and must complete all attempts within a 30 minute window, whilst seeking to A/ complete the task and B/ if possible better their time.  The group is penalized when a number is touched out of order and if more than one person is inside the boundary of the set area. The penalty may be, for example, that the group must start the attempt again but the time keeps ticking for that attempt.
  • Give the team 5 minutes to plan, then begin the 30 minutes count down, and then start the timer for the first attempt. Time each attempt when they say they are ready to begin the next one.
  • The team will eventually arrive at a variety of solutions including giving each member of the team a number (or several numbers) to step on in sequence as they run through the set area. After several attempts this 'ordering' will become more fluid.


  • Use this teambuilding exercise to highlight the value of continuous improvement.
  • Can be presented as a fun teambuilding initiative problem -There is a computer virus and the team must punch in the correct code or the entire data base will be lost!
  • Variation in briefing=create a greater sense of role play by shaping the story line: a computer virus has infected the entire network of the organisation/ government and your team has been flown in to disinfect it. If more than one person enters the 'restricted zone' then they are 'fried'...add as much detail as you wish to enhance the atmosphere and/or build pressure.
  • Depending on the group, alter the total time to 45 minutes and allow 5 minutes of separate planning time in between each attempt.

Processing Ideas

  • What was the initial reaction of the group?
  • How well did the group cope with this challenge?
  • What skills did it take to be successful as a group?
  • What creative solutions were suggested and how were they received?
  • Did everyone listen to each others ideas?
  • What would an outside observer have seen as the strengths and weaknesses of the group?
  • What roles did people play?
  • What did each group member learn about him/her self as an individual?
  • What key factor led to an improvement in time?
  • How motivated were participants to continually improve the time after initial success at the task?
  • More information on Facilitation and creative debrief and processing tools


  • Create a set of 20-30 non slip numbered spots or discs; boundary rope; timer for 30 minutes count down, and timer or stop watch for timing each attempt


Participants must touch the randomly placed numbers, in sequence, within a given time frame in multiple attempts.

Group Size

  • 10-30 participants


Total time ~40 mins

  • ~5 minutes set up
  • ~5 minutes initial briefing
  • 30 mins of activity
  • ~10 minutes discussion


Links to Other Versions


Last updated:
09 Jun 2009