Recently, my family and I undertook a huge residential move. And even though it was a lot of work and caused some stress, it gave s an opportunity, as is common in these cases, to sort through and organize our worldly possessions. My goal, for example, was not to let anything go to waste. I did not even want to consider throwing away perfectly fine toys, books, appliances, etc., as had been the case in previous moves. This process took much longer than I had hoped, but in the end, it paid off psychologically and environmentally. As a result, we minimized our contribution to the local landfill.
The way I approached our move, which I approach most things, was by turning it into a project in which our belongings were resources. Therefore, I created a resource management plan as a subsidiary to the entire project plan. Our resources included everything we needed and wanted, plus what was obsolete. The latter then became a potential monetary resource, if we could sell it or else a donation. Both of which had the goal of being of some benefit to someone who could reuse and repurpose them, and, in general, the goal was not just to get rid of them but to ensure that their product lifecycle would be utilized through its full course.
Although this article is about a residential move, the basic tenets and resource management guidelines still apply. In resource management, as in any ancillary management, you typically have a goal in mind that you want to meet, such as gaining the most of limited resources, acquiring resources, releasing resources, etc. Also, the usual objective is to optimize resources so as not to acquire too many, which can turn into either a sunk cost or an ongoing responsibility and liability. And in a sustainable environment, you do not want to increase and generate waste, which can happen when resources are acquired beyond their expected need.
Sustainability consists of economic viability, social equity, and environmental protection, which must permeate everything we do and work on. In resource management, for example, underuse and over-procurement of material resources and equipment can lead to waste down the line and underutilization of their product lifecycle. Likewise, poor planning concerning human resources can lead to unexpected layoffs on one end of the spectrum and overwork. The idea is to plan resource use to eliminate, or at least minimize, waste.
Scope, schedule, and budget are considered at the heart of project management. They make up what is known as the “triple constraint” and the three principal baselines. However, resources and stakeholder management have more to do with people, which include meeting expectations, participation, agency, and social equity. Therefore, resource management requires planning, execution, and monitoring as crucial as any other project process. Resources, whether human r otherwise, are key to a successful project, as well as to sustainability.