1. Why do you think that Lauren's colleague said, "I wouldn't want to be the one to deliver the message...?" Isn't it in top management's best interest to know the truth?
2. Overall, macro estimates are considered to have a lower accuracy, somewhere in the -25% to +75% range. Micro estimates, by definition, are more accurate in the -10% to +15% range. In the very beginning of a project, when you want to get a rough estimate, a "rough order of magnitude" estimate is used. This is only accurate from -50% to +100%. Which form of estimation do you think that management at Sharp Printing did? What do you think about the size of management's error and how would you explain this to them? Given the possible range of errors, why bother with the macro estimate?
Have you heard of the phrase "Don't shoot the messenger?" Though it is in top management's best interest to know the truth about the project's 20% cost overrun as soon as possible, even top management ...