Ever heard of Santa Chaos? He runs his own Christmas workshop and would love nothing more than to take over the reins from Santa Claus. To see whether he has a chance of achieving his goal, let’s compare their working methods.

Christmas is round the corner: be prepared

Once the summer break is over and it’s time to start preparing for the next Christmas season, Santa Chaos is usually a little slow to get going. He doesn’t use a professional schedule management system because he thinks he can remember all the important dates himself. In fact, his brain is usually still on its summer holidays every year until, suddenly, he realises that Christmas is just around the corner. Then he rounds up all of his Christmas gnomes, snow elves and festive fairies and cries: “Right, let’s get going: draw and write the Christmas cards, get them ready to send and off they go!” And all his helpers scatter and frantically get to work. Most of them run straight to the drawing table so the few of them that are left to do the writing cannot keep up with the typing; but many of them can’t decide what to do either and chomp through all the Christmas cookies in a panic. One of the elves quickly discovers a problem: “We have pink and turquoise crayons but hardly any red, green and yellow ones. How are we supposed to draw Christmas trees with candles and stars?” Now they’re really in a pickle!

With Santa Claus, things look a little different: he starts preparing in good time because he has an eye on the key dates. He set an alarm beforehand, assembled his gnomes, elves and fairies and pulled out his checklist: What needs to be done? Who is doing what? And what do they need to do it? This method has always worked well in the past but these days Santa Claus uses a modern content management system with a workflow component that offers everything from a single source. Once set up, the Christmas workflow starts automatically at a set time and reminds Santa Claus which dates need to be adhered to. His helpers are also included in the workflow, and are automatically notified about which tasks they need to complete. Since they are assigned to different role groups in the content management system, the assignment of tasks is clear and everyone knows what they have to do and how much time they have to do it.

User roles and rolls of gift wrap

Back at Santa Chaos’ grotto, things are looking a little more orderly now. It’s just that the Christmas trees are now pink and the candles are turquoise. The festive fairies are typing out the cards: ‘Dear Lottie! As you are probably aware, Christmas is right around the corner. etc. Yours truly, signed on behalf of Santa Chaos’. Every card is written from scratch but with bits and pieces copied from last year’s cards. Unfortunately, old dates and the odd piece of irrelevant information are also copied across here and there. “Someone needs to revise these before they are sent out!”, cries Santa Chaos as a result. “Yeah, yeah”, reply the gnomes as they carry on drawing the Christmas cards. “Yeah, yeah”, chime in the elves as they diligently stick stamps on to the envelopes. “Yeah, yeah”, add the fairies, as they type away. Ultimately, no one will take a second look at the cards before they are sent out. Only Rudolf comes by, his nose glowing red from mulled wine, and quickly changes ‘Have a wonderful Christmas’ to ‘Have a wine-derful Christmas’.

Santa Claus also re-uses text in his system but the role and rights assignment in his content management system determine who is allowed to change text and when. In the workflow, the gnomes have the task of checking the existing text blocks and amending them if necessary, or creating new blocks. After that, they switch the workflow to the next step: in this subsequent step, the fairies are notified that they need to proofread the text. If they have any questions, they can contact the gnomes directly via the workflow in the content management system. Only once there are no more errors to be found and no more queries outstanding is the text then officially approved for use. This ensures that the content is up-to-date, correct and in the appropriate style. By using variants, flexible personalised text adapted to the addressee can be compiled despite the standardisation.

The elves have now drawn some Christmas pictures and drafted a festive layout. Santa Claus looks over the result with the text included in the design. He nods in approval and gives the ‘OK’ as the final step in the workflow.

(Christmas) content management from a single source!

Unfortunately, the cards from Santa Chaos were finished too late due to unclear distribution of work and missed deadlines and are only received by their addressees after Christmas. As no one feels valued by him any more, they hardly take any notice. Without sound quality assurance, Santa Chaos will never be able to compete with Santa Claus;

because Santa Claus sent his cards in good time. Even the individual quality assurance steps implemented early on by Santa Claus – such as his alarm (i.e. date reminders), checklists or a voluntary four-eyes principle – are better than the procedure followed by Santa Chaos. Because Santa Claus now has everything running in an component content management system (like our SCHEMA ST4) and the process steps therefore run smoothly together, everything works perfectly in terms of text and images. And that’s why Santa Claus is famous all around the world and Santa Chaos… not so much.

We wish you a very merry (and healthy) Christmas and a happy new year!