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Scheduling elves: the best practices

Scheduling resources is an important task and mustn’t, under any circumstance, be taken lightly. Scheduling elves is just as important.


As you have probably noticed, it’s the last month of the year which - for the large part of the world - means two things: Christmas and New Year. And even though some people tend to think that New Year is a bigger thing than Christmas, don't be fooled! It is not!
The time before Christmas, however, is almost as important as the Big Day itself, because lots of elves are doing reconnaissance, making sure who should be on the naughty list and who should not. To keep things in order, manufacturing online and logistics in order, here are some tips for the elves to make sure Christmas and the time preceding it goes off without a hitch.

Mapping your elves

When scheduling elves, one has to make sure one's data is up to date - knowing what resources are at your disposal and when, is the key! You wouldn’t want to double-book anyone, now would you?
The easiest way to do this is to create one vertical column, where you could list all the elves at your disposal and a horizontal row, listing all the dates that need to be filled with tasks - that creates the ideal starting point, a framework if you will, for filling the table with tasks.

Mapping your tasks
The other side of this coin is mapping all the to-do’s - making a list of all the things that need doing within a certain time. For that, the easiest way is to just make a vertical list, naming all the tasks that one sees important to delegate to one’s elves.
When creating such a list, I recommend starting with things that should be done first, i.e. you make a to-do list based on dates.

Assigning tasks
Now to the hard part: when starting to assign tasks, first mark down the times when your elves are available. If they’re not, it’s important to make sure they actually aren’t - there are times when the motivation to participate ... is not what it should be, so it’s vital you make sure the unwillingness to participate is not just a glitch in the communication.
Secondly you should make sure you assign the tasks in a chronological order, i.e. things that have to be done first, will be done first. Here, you can use the list already created.


And finally: check the list twice. Mixups are usually not forgiven.