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Posted by Andy Brown on 14 December 2011
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Does Santa Claus use Microsoft Project?
Wise Owl have been contacted by Lapland Distribution Inc. to clarify why Santa Claus has chosen not to use Microsoft Project to manage the parcel distribution process. Santa has cited the following 10 reasons why MS Project isn't the right tool to manage this complex process.
1 - Unfeasible Gantt Chart
Currently the minute-by-minute timeline for delivering presents to every child in the world is written up in marker pen on the Lapland whiteboard (Santa keeps making last-minute changes). Although the elves need to keep wiping snow off the whiteboard, Santa feels it's more responsive than a printable Gantt chart (plus he can't find a printer big enough to print one).
2 - Cost
Lapland runs on a shoestring, and neither Mr. nor Mrs. Claus feel the time is right to spend a considerable amount of money on a licence for Microsoft Project - especially when GoogleXmasProjects open source software is available free of charge.
3 - Complexity of Setting up Project Server
While the IT team at Lapland are up to the job of installing Project, there's no one with the expertise to set up SharePoint or Project Server (and Reindeer Consulting Inc. are expensive to bring in).
4 - Forward Planning
The Project calendar runs from 1984 to 2049, whereas Santa's diary is full until the end of the world (scheduled for 7594 AD, if you're interested).
5 - Overspecification of Resources and Milestones
Project is great at handling multiple resources and managing milestones, but the present-delivery process really just involves one resource (Santa) and a single milestone (get everything delivered by Christmas morning).
6 - Training Requirements
Lapland have used Wise Owl before for their IT training (before Wise Owl ran SQL Server and ASP.NET courses at Lapland, Santa had a card index system for every child in the world), but elves aren't the brightest creatures (vis-à-vis their intelligence, not their clothing), and there just isn't time in the year's diary to devote to training.
7 - Too Many Dependencies
When every child's present delivery depends on every other child's delivery, the interdependencies are just to complex for Project to manage (and possibly for Santa to manage too, although that's another story).
8 -The Reindeer Problem
Whisper it, but reindeer aren't the world's best computer users (few ungulates are). It's the hoof problem: watching reindeer type is like watching Russell Grant learn to dance.
9 - Importing Bank Holidays
There just aren't the resources available to create a calendar of all of the bank holidays to import into Project (plus the fact that bank holidays are different in each part of the world).
10 - Alternative Technology
It doesn't make sense to use Project, when the Massive And Gigantic Integrated Coordinator tool is available (work it out ...).
For our next blog: why the Easter Bunny doesn't like Word outline numbering ...