In spite of massive investments in project management best practices and the organizations to implement them, major oil and gas projects continue to experience painful cost overruns and schedule delays. Although there are many hypotheses as to why this is so, one root cause that has not been sufficiently explored is the built-in bias of owner and contractor organizations toward optimism and overconfidence. This article will explore the sources of this bias, and how techniques, such as using an outside view and improving the understanding of the drivers of risk exposure, can help correct it.

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