CHAPTER 1

Show Me the Data

The Enduring Problems of Cost Growth and Schedule Delays

Gottfried von Leibniz was a German polymath who lived in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Two of his most well-known contributions include coinventing differential and integral calculus and his philosophy of optimism. Leibniz believed that we live in the “best of all possible worlds.”1 This was lampooned by the French writer, historian, and philosopher Voltaire, who caricatured him as Professor Pangloss in his novel Candide. Throughout the novel Pangloss suffers from a series of misfortunes. Among other calamities, he is enslaved on a Turkish ship and almost executed by the Inquisition. Despite this, Pangloss remains optimistic. This gave rise ...

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