Time over runs


A cost overrun, also known as a cost increase or budget overrun, is an unexpected cost incurred in excess of a budgeted amount due to an under-estimation of the actual cost during budgeting. Cost overrun should be distinguished from cost escalation, which is used to express an anticipated growth in a budgeted cost due to factors such as inflation.

Cost overrun is common in infrastructure, building, and technology projects. Three types of explanation for cost overrun exist: technical, psychological, and political-economic. Technical explanations account for cost overrun in terms of imperfect forecasting techniques, inadequate data, etc. Psychological explanations account for overrun in terms of optimism bias with forecasters. Finally, political-economic explanations see overrun as the result of strategic misrepresentation of scope or budgets.

All three explanations can be considered forms of risk. A project's budgeted costs should always include cost contingency funds to cover risks (other than scope changes imposed on the project). As has been shown in cost engineering research,[4] poor risk analysis and contingency estimating practices account for many project cost overruns. Numerous studies have found that the greatest cause of cost growth was poorly-defined scope at the time that the budget was established. The cost growth, or overrun of the budget before cost contingency is added, can be predicted by rating the extent of scope definition, even on complex projects with new technology

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