Excuse # 1

Lesson # 5: The most ambiguous explanation to cost overruns is that the project is unique and very complex compared to other projects.   

Evidently there are unique and complex projects, but the fact remains: In most projects claimed to be unique and complex, the unique and complex part encompass but a minor portion of the total project very often representing less than 5% of the total costs.  On this background claiming uniqueness is more often an excuse rather than an explanation. This kind of pretext or justification of cost overruns is thus a side track and will damage future attempts to solve real problems in project control.

                                              Edited May 2005