You aren’t a resource

“I’m not sure if we have enough resource for that”

“We’re over-resourced on X”

“We’ll need to take some resource from Y”

It makes me feel bad when colleagues refer to themselves or people they work with as “resources”.

I think we should ban the word.

To start with, I don’t understand whether you mean money or people. That ambiguity can occasionally be useful if you’re having a conversation about recruitment or outsourcing something to an agency, but that’s a minority of the conversations I’m in.

“I am not a number, I am a free man”

It also reinforces the idea that people = money, even though they don’t. Adding more money and people to projects doesn’t necessarily equal a more productive team.

Teams need more than just people to be productive and happy.

I’ve been struggling to find adequate wall and meeting room space recently. These kind of considerations tend not to be part of the ~resourcing calculus~, but without them, communication inside and between teams will suffer.

This scene from one of my favourite shows, Halt and Catch Fire, sums the principle up.

Even if people and money were transferable, no one likes to be thought of as a resource.

We’re used to accepting it as a standard part of business-speak, but we can our workplace culture little by little, by just deciding not to do a thing any more.

Once we’ve won this battle, let’s go to war on “close of play”.

Many folks more knowledgeable than me have written more succinctly about the Mythical Man Month and how people≠resources.