How Santa excels at project management

How Santa excels at project management

Christmas can be a stressful time. Whether it’s at work trying to hit deadlines or at home getting the house ready for the party season. Sarah Wilson from project training and consultancy firm, 54 degrees, looks at how Father Christmas himself manages his biggest project of the year...

Spare a thought for the big man himself. Ok, so he has 12 months to plan his project with one deadline at the end of it, but he doesn’t just have two or three children to cater for, he has millions all over the world.

And take into account that he only has 24 hours to complete the final stage of the project, different time zones to contend with - and the impact it will have if it all goes wrong does not bear thinking about! Talk about a high-risk project!

So how does Santa manage to deliver Christmas each and every year, on time, without a hitch?

Well, it’s all in his effective project management.

 

Managing data

How does Santa keep track of every single boy and girl? Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice? And what about the paperwork?! All those letters being sent to the North Pole from eager children telling Santa what they want for Christmas. With millions of children all over the world, that’s one big database!

A well-managed CRM system helps him and his team of elves keep track, storing all the children’s contact details, how they’ve been that year, plus their Christmas wish lists – all he needs to know is at the click of a button. 

 

Resourcing

Santa cannot deliver his project on time without the dedication and support of his team of elves.

They all need to be absolutely focussed on that one goal, to ensure that all the correct toys are ready, wrapped and in his sleigh on Christmas Eve. Making sure all boys and girls wake up on Christmas morning with nice surprises under their tree and in their stockings.

 

Manufacturing

Then there’s the matter of the toys, knowing a good, trusted supplier or making them yourself.

Santa uses his own team of elf co-ordinators to support the in-house manufacturing teams, as well as their trusted external suppliers. Delegating this co-ordination means that it is possible to keep track and ensure all the toys are finished on time and of the highest quality.

 

Marketing and PR

You may have noticed that Christmas starts quite early in the year. This is down to Santa’s meticulous PR and marketing team that creates a festive buzz in the run up to the big day, to ensure everyone knows when he will be visiting. After such a long project, you’d hate for people to forget he was coming!

His communications team has spent years perfecting its marketing campaign, from Santa’s branding, to festive music and décor, getting people into the Christmas spirit - it is the most talked about holiday of the year! And you can’t miss that white beard and red and white suit and hat.

 

Logistics and transport

We all wonder how he does it, how he delivers all those toys in one night to millions of children across the world - it must be magic, right? Santa has his route down to a tee on Sat Nav. His IT elves are hot with all the new gizmos to make sure this process runs as smooth as clockwork.

And of course, he wouldn’t be able to do it without his trusty reindeer, who have perfected their landing on rooftops of all different shapes and sizes.  They train day and night leading up to the big day so that they can work as a perfectly co-ordinated team.

 

So as Christmas approaches, spare a thought for Santa and his team of elves. Although he has to be the most efficient project manager around, don’t you think?

He’s certainly had plenty of practice to learn from his mistakes, so he gets better and better at it each year!