As a project manager, you estimate a task to take two days. Your team took five days to complete the job. What describes the tendency that caused you to underestimate the time for the task?

As a project manager, you estimate a task to take two days. Your team took five days to complete the job. What describes the tendency that caused you to underestimate the time for the task?

Or

As a project manager, you initially estimated that a task would require two days for completion. However, your team ended up taking five days to finish the job. What term best characterizes the pattern that led to your initial underestimation of the task duration?

Feedback fallacy
Planning fallacy
Opinion bias
Pessimism bias

The “Planning fallacy” is a cognitive bias that describes the common tendency of individuals, including project managers, to underestimate the time, costs, and risks associated with future tasks or projects. It occurs when people base their predictions and plans on overly optimistic assumptions, focusing on the best-case scenarios and ignoring potential obstacles, delays, or complexities that may arise.

In the scenario provided, the project manager initially estimated that a task would take two days, likely considering the most straightforward and ideal conditions. However, real-world projects often encounter unforeseen challenges, interruptions, or unexpected issues that can lead to longer completion times. In this case, the task duration of five days highlights the manifestation of the planning fallacy.

To mitigate the planning fallacy, project managers should consider historical data, consult with team members, and apply a more comprehensive risk assessment to their project planning. This helps ensure that estimates are grounded in a more realistic understanding of potential difficulties, reducing the likelihood of underestimation and the associated challenges it may bring to project management.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top