When it comes to delivering on-time and on-budget, Santa might be the best project manager we’ve ever known. (Yes, even Santa has to stick to a budget; someone has to pay those high heating costs up at the North Pole!)
Now we know that many people question how the jolly fellow can accomplish all he does, but from our perspective, it seems pretty obvious; Santa has excellent project management skills! Let’s unpack Santa’s management techniques and learn from the master multi-tasker.
1. Santa knows how to delegate.
Elves and reindeer — Santa assembles his A-Team. He knows that the magical wonder of Santa Claus would be too much for one person alone, so he surrounds himself with a team that he knows he can rely on and trust to get the job done. Santa holds his team members accountable so that when the big deadline approaches, he can guarantee everyone has put in the hard work to get the job done well and on time.
2. He sticks hard to his deadlines.
Santa isn’t afraid to commit to a date and broadcast it clear across the globe. Everyone knows that one way or another, come December 25th, his project will be complete, and the final products will be nestled under the tree according to each appropriate time zone. He values on-time delivery and his clients never worry about him being late. (Well, maybe there was the one year that Santa drank a little too much eggnog and was pushing that AM deadline, but we’ll let that slide...)
3. He makes a list and checks it twice.
Santa doesn’t approach projects all willy-nilly. He attacks each year with a concise, documented plan that's accessible to his team. Every elf knows exactly how many Barbie Dream Houses, Lego Batmobiles, and weenie whistles need to be made before they load up the sleigh. Santa’s precisely defined requirements are key to keeping his crew on track.
4. His team has clear roles and responsibilities.
The reindeer are revved up and ready to run come Christmas Eve. The elves are experts at tinkering and toys. Mrs. Claus is overseeing the day-to-day operations at the North Pole. Everyone on Santa’s team knows which tasks they are responsible for; he leverages their strengths and carefully calculates their capacity throughout the year.
5. His clients have transparent communications channels.
All kids know that the best way to reach Santa is a letter sent directly to the North Pole (or they can ask their parents to take a trip to the mall). Santa places importance on having open feedback channels with his clients. He keeps communication open throughout the entire project lifecycle so that there aren’t any unknown hiccups or unwanted surprises on delivery day.
6. Santa celebrates the wins along the way.
Milk and cookies after a completed project – don't mind if we do! He realizes that great managers take time to pause and recognize a job well done. Celebrating milestones is crucial for building an engaged and accountable team.
While we might not be able to live up to the project management skills of Saint Nick, there are certainly a few of his tactics we can take back to our teams.
If you are looking for a way to step up your project management to Santa-level expertise in 2020, check out Moovila’s automated work management software.