Teammates Are Not “Resources”, They Are People

How many times have you heard “We need more resources for this project”? The “resources” here of course refer to people that are needed to work on this project. It’s been a bit of a pet peeve of mine hearing that and it took a new twist yesterday at work.

It bothers me when people in business think that simply throwing numbers (number of people, numbers of dollars spent, etc) at a project will make it succeed. It MAY succeed but you’re not getting the best product created. It’s simply solving a task and moving on. However, if a true team is built, these team members work together, communicate together, laugh and get disgruntled together and work as a team to solve problems much more efficiently than they would if it was the same amount of people not working at a team.

What would you rather have? A team or a handful of resources?

Think about last year’s Super Bowl winners, the New York Giants. They didn’t have the best quarterback in the league, nor the best running back, tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, etc. What did they have? A great TEAM. The New York Giants (for the record, I’m not a Giants fan) were more than simply a number of football resources. I’ve also seen it time and time again when a football team figures that adding a stud resource will make the team better…yet usually this is not the case. If this new resource doesn’t fit in as part of the team, it can actually be a detriment to the team.

These same rules apply to business. Create a team and you can do anything. Simply throw a bunch of resources at something and you may just get the job done.

FYI – The incident that brought this up was actually the opposite…taking a “resource” off my team. She was a team member to me, a great Business Analyst, but simply viewed as a resource that could be allocated to another project.