Every year, Santa and his teams of elves deliver presents to all the children of the world. To pull this off, it requires intense planning and a robust system of coordination. After facing many challenges in 2020, this year Santa decided to enlist TeamFlow to help. Below is a case study of Santa’s experience using TeamFlow to create SOPs for his Christmas process.
"There are more kids on this planet every year, and our job never gets any easier. Sure, our cloud adoption and modernization initiatives are going well. But that doesn't address our real problem – people and process. Identifying bottlenecks and eliminating waste is critical if we're going to make deadlines. Christmas doesn't get an extension."
- Kris K., Kringle Enteprises
After spending a few hours reviewing Santa’s process documentation (or lack there of), we found there were many areas of improvement:
Standardize process documentation so everyone can easily understand it.
Model every process and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Build a process repository as a source of truth for all processes.
After signing up and creating his organization account in TeamFlow, Santa was quickly able to outline a few processes. He built his process repository by organizing the processes into folders. Then he shared them with his teams of elves to review and provide feedback. Everyone on the team was able to provide their input on how they do their job to make sure the processes were as accurate as possible.
Each process diagram uses simple shapes to represent activities like tasks, meetings, decisions, reports, etc. These are organized by swimlane, which clearly show who is responsible for what. Santa’s teams were able to quickly learn this process modeling language within a few minutes. This enabled teams to speak a common language, so they could identify issues and fix them.
Turns out, Santa is a process improvement nut! He loved seeing the feedback from his teams and was happy to see processes corrected in real-time. With everyone able to understand the work together, they were able to solve issues that had been plaguing their teams for years.
"I said for years that our biggest bottleneck was with those cotton headed ninny muggins in the Packaging Department. They have weeks to prepare for the big night, while we only have a few hours to get ready for launch. Turns out, the real issue was with our QA process. Now we send all toys that pass QA to packaging first, instead of waiting for everything to get tested."
- Barnaby the Elf, Sleigh Coordinator
After reviewing their existing processes, Santa was able to focus on process models for 3 main SOPs:
With everything stored in the process repository, Santa was also able to create a single high-level diagram. This gave him an overview of every process and how they connect together. Now Santa could focus on the top down view and drill down into the details when needed.
NOTE: Click and drag to scroll in the diagram. You can also click the center of the nodes to see more details.
Santa was able to take advantage of TeamFlow’s cost & time reporting. This makes it easy to assign a time value and cost component to each activity in a process. This gets added up to the total cost and time of the process. When connecting other diagrams, such as the SOPs, the cost and time values are added to the high-level process as well. We can see that the Christmas Process has a Planned Time of 11 Months 28 Days 20 Hours 7 Minutes.
He also used TeamFlow’s automation features to schedule email alerts to the responsible parties. These alerts include a simple email interface with actions to move the process along. This allows his team to focus on completing their work, instead of frustrated with clunky interfaces. These email actions use magic links (which don’t require a login) so team members can easily update the process in real-time.
Santa also used TeamFlow’s project management features. This allows him to create a project based on a process model and assign it to specific teams. He’s also able to track the progress of each project and see how the team is doing. This is a great way to compare actual results vs. planned results, such as comparing 2021’s performance against 2020.
Case Study Result
"Everyone thinks that pulling off Christmas every year is magic — like I simply flick my wrist with a wand and it suddenly happens. Well it doesn't! Okay, well perhaps there is some magic... with the flying reindeer and all. But more than that it takes hard work, planning, and solid management. TeamFlow has become an integral solution to our planning, management and continuous improvement objectives."
- Kris K., Kringle Enteprises
We want to thank Santa and his whole team for their hard work and dedication on improving Christmas this year. We hope you enjoyed this case study on process improvement and we hope you’ll join us for future case studies. Thank you for reading and on behalf of all of us at TeamFlow, we’d like to wish you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2022.
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Resources & Downloads
Interested in seeing more details on Santa’s processes? Please check out the links below. Each link will take you to a diagram in Santa’s TeamFlow process repository.
Note: when prompted to sign in, you can create a free account (our starter plan will remain free forever).
You can also download these diagrams to use as templates in your own account. Look for the download link below each process. Then right click “Save Link as” and then when you login to your TeamFlow account you can click “New” to create a new diagram. Finally, choose “From Saved File” in the menu and upload the downloaded file.
The information included within this blog is not intended to be legal advice and may not be used as legal advice. We make efforts to ensure all information provided is up-to-date. These resources are not intended to be full and exhaustive explanations of the law in any area. They should not be used to replace the advice of legal counsel.