It is January and whilst the rest of us are still trying to work off the mince pie calories from last Christmas, here’s Santa project managing Christmas and chairing the first planning meeting for this year’s ‘Project Christmas.’ Key team members of the project management team are assembled; Head of Production (Head Elf), Head of Transport (Rudolf) and Head of Catering (Mrs Claus) are ready to analyse the recently completed project and put in place plans for the next round of present delivery and joy spreading.
With 122 million miles to cover in just 42 hours (when you account for time zones) Christmas Eve is a project in itself. But, first there is the small matter of 500 million gifts to be sourced produced and wrapped (according to Forbes at least).
Santa’s hundred’s of years of experience with this particular project means he is clear on his OBJECTIVES – to fill the world with magic and love. In an ever changing world, however, the needs and expectations of key stakeholders (the children) are evolving faster than ever. The Project Scope Statement gets more complicated each year and budgets are way out of control. How much easier the project was to execute when expectations started and finished with a satsuma and a penny!
Every January, ‘Team Christmas’ diligently makes a PLAN. They make their lists, they check them twice. They write down who has been naughty and nice. GOALS are set; who will get what gift and when. A SCHEDULE is planned for production and deliveries and they DEFINE DELIVERABLES. Roles are delegated; Rudolf will sort out the transport, Mrs Claus will bake the cookies and Head Elf will make sure the presents are ready.
This year Methodology Elf has been brought onto the team to help Santa project managing Christmas. Santa has been reading about knowledge management strategy and project and program management methodology over the summer and wants to find ways to make things more efficient. A growing population makes the task of delivering all of these gifts more and more challenging. He has become the product of his own success and – if he is honest – would really love just one year off with Mrs Claus. However, without all of their methodologies written down, too much falls on his cuddly shoulders.