Good Shepherds

Abstract:The tragedy of the commons (TOTC) scenario is a thought experiment in game theory that illustrates how common resources are easily exploited past an acceptable level. Through the lens of an organization or workplace, TOTC can reveal how resources such as employee time can be exploited and spread too thin across multiple projects, decreasing the timeliness and effectiveness of those projects. Many organizations assign new projects to employees, regardless of the current projects a given employee is working on. If, however, employees could volunteer for projects as time becomes available, those employees can focus fully on a project and ensure its success and timely delivery. One case study examined an organization's annual project goals and noted that at a certain point, 75 percent of those projects were put on hold or abandoned due to limited availability at the executive sponsorship level. To avoid over exploitation of resources, organizations can include pull principles in their framework …

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