Why Santa Claus is the ultimate project manager

Why Santa Claus is the ultimate project manager

For the final blog of the year, and with the big day fast approaching, I wanted to get into the spirit of things by looking at what makes Santa Claus the ultimate project manager:

Scheduling

No-one rocks fixed deadline scheduling like the big man in red. Imagine the faces of half a billion children (the approximate number who believe in Santa) on Christmas morning if there were no presents under the tree! The results don’t bear thinking about.

Team management

Getting all of the presents made, wrapped and loaded for delivery is not a small task, but Santa has this down pat. Leaving the elves to get on and do what they do best without interference is an example of a project manager that trusts his team. It’s not surprising they have a process that runs like clockwork given they’ve been working together for centuries!

Stakeholders

Santa is a brilliant example of how to successfully manage stakeholders. How else can you have hundreds of millions of people consistently believing that you will deliver everything they want on time and in budget, regardless of the weather or other potentially disruptive factors?

Budgeting

With escalating production costs and parents’ budgets stagnating, Santa is a financial wizard to produce all of the presents that the children request without running out of money or breaking the bank.

Issues management

For an outstanding example of effective issues management under pressure, we just need to look at what happened at Christmas in 1939. It was almost cancelled due to a weather crisis but thanks to quick thinking on Santa’s part by using Rudolf to lead the way Christmas was saved.

As you can see from the examples above, Santa totally is the ultimate project manager. Happy holidays, see you next year!

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