Project Management

North Pole, We Have a Problem

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Many of you know that I write an annual holiday article (though I am sure the editor wishes I would just stop), but many of you may not realize that these articles are the result of a standing invitation from Santa to visit his workshop and report on events.

Santa was an early adopter of project management, and it is an essential part of how work gets done. After all, when you have thousands of elves working on hundreds of projects to ensure children have a wonderful Christmas, you had better be sure things are going well.

I just got back from this year’s visit, and I’m sorry to say that things aren’t going as smoothly as we might like. Here’s my account of what’s happening.

The good news is that Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer are all fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, Santa isn’t immune (see what I did there? Clever, right?) from some of the other challenges that are occurring this year.

The supply chain problems have been particularly difficult for Santa to deal with. He has had to fly a number of extra missions on his sleigh to land on container ships stuck on the ocean waiting to offload. It’s the only way he has been able to secure the raw materials he needs to produce the gifts. Even then, there are some things that are proving impossible to address.

Santa wanted me to tell you how sorry…

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You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!

- Dave Barry