The planning fallacy is a tendency for people and organizations to underestimate how long they will need to complete a task, even when they have experience of similar tasks over-running. The term was first proposed in a 1979 paper by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Since then the effect has been found for predictions of a wide variety of tasks, including tax form completion, school work, furniture assembly, computer programming andorigami. In 2003, Lovallo and Kahneman proposed an expanded definition as the tendency to underestimate the time, costs, and risks of future actions and at the same time overestimate the benefits of the same actions. According to this definition, the planning fallacy results in not only time overruns, but also cost overruns and benefit shortfalls. The bias only affects predictions about one’s own tasks; when uninvolved observers predict task completion times, they show a pessimistic bias, overestimating the time taken.

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