Why Santa is the Best Project Manager
When it comes to the best project managers, there are a few people who immediately come to mind: Henry Gantt, the creator of the Gantt project management method, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, and Santa Claus, the bringer of joy and presents to millions of children worldwide.
In all honesty, who is a better example of a dedicated, thorough, and meticulous project manager than St. Nick himself? Year after year, he pulls off his projects with class and ease, and delivers the final products on time. How does he do it? Some may say his elves and Mrs. Claus have something to do with it, but in fact, it’s more likely that Santa is using a project management tool to organize and prioritize his yearly Christmas project. Not convinced? Let’s look at the evidence.
He makes lists
The best project managers know: “if you don’t write it down, it never happened.” Not only does Santa make his lists well in advance, but he even checks them twice. Lists are an important tool in order to get your ideas out, set deadlines, and prioritize tasks. Even if you’re not Santa Claus, you can still benefit from powerful project management tools like Wrike to help you get your lists organized in one place.
A good leader knows how to prioritize tasks, and more importantly, delegate and motivate an entire team. With a colossal workshop full of elves, Santa realizes the importance of having your whole team on board for a project. There are millions of toys to make, wrap, and deliver and there is no room for error. That’s why Santa uses a project management tool like Proggio in order to assign tasks to the elves and follow progress or roadblocks for each individual task. This way, he stays on top of the entire project, from toy production to sleigh packing, and even delivery.
He sticks to deadlines
Every year, Santa manages to bring toys on time to millions of children around the world. While he knows the delivery date of his project won’t change year to year, he can’t afford to be late, not even by a day. In order to have everything done by December 25th, Santa starts planning the following year’s Christmas no later than December 26th. This way he has a full year to plan everything and he doesn’t find himself missing any important deadlines. In fact, even when he receives last minute letters from children in the days leading up to Christmas, he’s ready to integrate them into the existing project since the planning leading up to the deadline was done so meticulously.
He has an excellent team
Where would Santa be without his dedicated team? If it weren’t for all the hard-working elves in the North Pole and his dependable herd of reindeer, Santa wouldn’t be able to pull off a project on this scale. The best project managers surround themselves with honest and dependable workers, and Santa has done just that. Furthermore, he motivates his team by keeping the atmosphere in the North Pole cheerful and exciting.
He plans projects ahead of time
The best project managers understand that it’s critical to do as much advance planning as possible when taking on a project of this scale. There’s a lot of things that can be done in advance, and that’s why Santa uses tools like FunctionFox to create realistic timelines for tasks. With timelines, it’s easy to visualize deadlines and prepare for them. His whole team has access to these timelines as well, so Santa can make sure his entire workshop is on the same page. It’s also important that Santa’s project management tool is available on mobile, so that he can keep track of planning even when he’s away from the workshop.
He understand what his customer wants
With the enormous amount of data Santa has on each child, it’s easy to make sure that every gets exactly what they want. Not only does he have wishlists, but also naughty and nice lists, as well as records of presents gifted from previous years. In this way, Santa has the most precise insight into his customers and knows exactly what they want this year. Monday is great for this, since it can act as both a CRM and a project management tool.
He stays calm under pressure
More important than any project management system, St. Nick’s number one quality as one of the best project managers is that he is able to stay calm under intense pressure. There’s no doubt that preparing and delivering millions of gifts to children around the entire globe is a stressful event. Yet, every year, Santa handles it with a calm and level head and manages to get everything done on time and up to his high standards. What’s his secret? In case it wasn’t obvious yet, project management tools help him keep the load off his shoulders so he can enjoy the holiday spirit just like everyone else.
We can all learn from St. Nick
There are many management techniques we can learn from Santa Claus. Just because he makes an appearance only once a year doesn’t mean he isn’t working diligently behind the scenes. The combination of skills such as understanding when to delegate, planning ahead, and recognizing talent make him one of the best project managers around.
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