Posted: February 23, 2013 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , , ,

The three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. But for some people, humans are resources.


Microwave ovens are resources, phones are resources, laptops and internets are all resources – but humans are humans. And the sooner we realize that, the better it will be for all of us.

Addressing or using human as “resources” most likely commenced in medieval times when there were autocratic lords and they had labours who sow their crop, cut their harvest, look after their livestock and to do all the other things that required humans. If a labour died or was handicapped they could simply be replaced by another who could do the same thing – a typical direct replacement, like replacing your refill when the pen ink gets over.

However, we now live in more civilised times (even if you feel that your boss is a autocratic lord sometimes, trust me, he cannot order your head chopped off anymore!) and I feel that it is time we stopped using humans like that – as if they were replaceable or renewable and regenerable cogs (aka resources) in some huge organic engine.

IT jobs these days by its very nature is a creative pain – you may spend countless hours or days on a problem without coming up with a optimum answer and all of a sudden it strikes you when you go to get that fifteenth cup of coffee to keep you alive Or maybe you need to just sleep on it and the next day on your way to to your office it all magically becomes clear and you wonder how you missed something so simple and obvious.

Show of hands – how many people have never had this happen once in their career so far? No hands? I thought so!

Anyway, the point I want to make is that the real resource you need care about if you are a project manager (God help you!) is not the quantity humans or the time they should spend on a given problem or a piece of so called work. Instead, you should be worrying about their levels of result, inspiration, motivation and even current mental state. Sadly, these are all very ideals and abstract qualities and, moreover, they do not have any units of measurement. Project managers cannot say, for example – I need 7 grams of creativity, 120 metres of inspiration and 10 motivations on this project for the next 6 months. So, ironically, they only decision or measurement what they can – number of people and time – and think they are done. That is where the debate comes in, because

‘X’ people is not equal to ‘X’ other people

Actually, the real fallacy is not in the numbers themselves but in considering them as if they were only numbers. They are not – not numbers, not resources, not exchangeable, not replaceable. They are humans – real, live, blood and flesh and feelings humans who have their own strengths and weaknesses, their own likes and dislikes, their own hopes and fears and dreams and their own state of mind on any given day, and who will go to the corners of the planet to pull off a miracle for you if they actually want to.

If you only considered them like – humans.

Nikhil Chandwani

VIT University, Vellore

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