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Resources are the means to achieve our purposes. They are to be used efficiently and effectively to complete tasks.  


The application of quality principles can be more than justified on the basis of resource management alone. The diagram below illustrates the resources returned by continuous improvement.



Resources must be managed to return value. It is management's task to work on the system to increase its capacity to achieve the desired outputs and outcomes. 



In everyday discussion the focus tends to be on the resources in terms of finance, facilities, staff and equipment. Discussions tend to also focus on the resources "we don't have and need to acquire" rather than the resources we have available immediately. 


Everyday discussions of resources tend to assume that all resources are consumed when used. In fact the opposite is true for many resources.  Use enhances skills, knowledge, relationships and systems (if continuous improvement is part of the system itself).


The result of such an orientation is that we tend to 

  • have a sense of deficit in relation to resources 
  • assume that resources are the limiting factor in our activities
  • believe that resources are what others provide
  • overlook the resources that we do have, and,
  • overlook our capacity to generate our own resources


In reality resources are much more


Resources include (in alphabetical order)


  • authority
  • alignment
  • commitments
  • concepts
  • definitions
  • data
  • energy
  • equipment
  • facilities
  • goodwill
  • information
  • knowledge
  • money
  • opportunities
  • policies
  • processes
  • relationships
  • services
  • skills
  • support
  • synergy
  • systems
  • technology
  • time
  • tools
  • wisdom
  • ...

Management, systems, alignment, synergy and a sense of stewardship can all magnify magnify the effectiveness of the way in which we access and use resources.


[Nb.  Despite common wisdom, lack of resources is rarely the constraint. Lack of clarity of purposes is a much more common constraint. The other common constraint is lack of a real method to achieve the purpose]