Risk, Elves, & Opportunities are Three of Santa’s Biggest Concerns

While the specific issues on Santa's mind vary from year to year, Xyleme is always there to help the big man in red improve his gift making processes and ensure top performer elves remain happy and productive at the workshop.

So, Ho-Ho-How does Santa's Workshop Manage Christmas?

There are just over 526,000,000 Christian kids under the age of 14 in the world who celebrate Christmas on December 25th. In other words, Santa must deliver presents to almost 22 million kids an hour, every hour, on the night before Christmas. That’s about 365,000 kids a minute; about 6,100 a second. Totally doable. And he hasn’t missed a year yet, but that’s not to say it’s all sunshine and snow angels.

I met Mr. Claus for a cup of hot chocolate at the North Pole’s local coffee shop, just around the corner from Santa’s house. It was a bit quieter than usual since most of the elves were working on their assignments for the big day. Mr. Claus leaned back in his chair and took a sip of his coffee.

“So,” I said, “how does Santa manage to deliver all those presents?”

“Oh, it’s simple really,” replied Santa Claus with a smile. “We have a few tricks up our sleeves.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Well, first off we have a huge team of elves who help us out,” he said proudly. “Each one has a very specific job that they do every year. Santa’s Workshop manages Christmas with a combination of technology, hard work and magic.”

Here's how Santa's workshop manages to pull off Christmas:

Imagine you are Santa’s Workshop Manager. You have just received an urgent email from your VP of Operations:

“We have a problem! There are too many kids on the Nice List, and not enough on the Naughty List. The elves are building too many toys for kids who are good all year round, and not enough for naughty kids who deserve punishment. We need to start over.”

You sigh and think back to last year when you had this same conversation with your boss. At that time, he asked you to do some research and come up with a solution. You did some research and came up with a solution: centralize your content to create a single source of truth and simplify list authoring, maintenance, management, reuse, and search-ability at scale. This single source of truth is now where all the elves receive their updated list in real time, in the format they prefer, personalized to only the toy types or countries they need to worry about. And just like that, you saved Christmas day!

Chief Christmas Production Elf Vinca Dorman oversees all the work that goes in to assembling our holiday gifts. If we need more bricks or dolls, she instructs the content writers and designers accordingly. Her biggest challenges are documenting her instructions to the writers and designers and making sure that they’re updating only their pieces of the project. The solution is to generate comprehensive reports on content update, version, and access histories so that nobody can change someone else’s project. This creates enormous time savings for the Elf Quality Assurance teams.

I know that Santa’s workshop is a great place to work, because the elves are happy. But what really makes them tick?

Employee engagement is a top priority in Santa’s workshop. Ensuring top performers remain happy and productive at the workshop is of the utmost importance to me, because the elves work extremely hard all year long to reward all the children on the nice list on Christmas Day.

So how do we keep our elves engaged? The answer may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked: Santa gives them the tools they need to be successful — in other words, I make it easy for them to do their jobs well.

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