AN AGILE CHRISTMAS
The time of year has come when thoughts of Santa Claus occupy many little boys’ and girls’ heads. Come the evening of December 24th each will surely be wondering what Santa will bring them. Many will likely be having doubts, after all, Santa cannot get to all of the children, right? And even if he does, there is no way they will all get what they asked for! But, year in and year out, Santa comes through for the little boys and girls, and the only logical explanation is that Santa is the original Master Agilist.
While Santa’s crowning performance comes each year on December 24th, he works all year long to make sure his big night goes off without a hitch. Santa begins, as any great agilist does, by understanding his customer. Santa uses his innate ability to “know when you are sleeping” and “know when you are awake” to spot trends among little girls’ and boys’ behaviors and desires. Santa then uses his network of elves to leak this information to corporations around the globe, who use the information to develop product ideas for the upcoming holiday season. The products that gain the most traction through advertising are then put into production at Santa’s Workshop.
Over the centuries Santa has perfected his streamlined manufacturing in the North Pole to keep up with growing customer sizes. Santa emphasizes an understanding of the Theory of Constraints in the Workshop and displays a Kanban board to ensure that every member of his elven workforce is on the same page. As far as assigning roles to each elf goes, Santa recognizes that each elf has a slightly different skill set and strives to maximize that specialty by assigning different elves to different work. Mr. Kringle feels it is equally important, however, to limit an elf’s work in progress items to just one at a time. In his many centuries on the job Santa has found that doing so lowers the stress level of his elves, allowing for better concentration and thus better quality. Santa’s efficiently developed smooth flow process has allowed him to make every deadline to date!
Towards the end of the process Santa takes the lists that children have sent him and creates a single ordered queue for delivery from them. The queue is derived from the children’s expressed desires, their habits over the past year (taken from the famous “Naughty & Nice” book), and their location. Finally Santa is ready to call on Dancer, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, and all the other Reindeer and ride off into the night, leaving each of his loyal customers satisfied once again.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Santeon!