Last edited 16 Jul 2021

Optimism bias

The Green Book, Central Government Guidance On Appraisal And Evaluation, Published by HM Treasury in 2018, suggests that: ‘Optimism bias is the proven tendency for appraisers to be over-optimistic about key project parameters, including capital costs, operating costs, project duration and benefits delivery.’

Project Routemap, Setting up projects for success, Organisational Design & Development, UK Module, published by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, defines optimism bias as: ‘The demonstrated and systematic tendency to overemphasise positive benefits and opportunities and undervalue the costs and negative risks of projects. This bias should be quantified when developing cost plans and schedules.’

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