Frequently Asked Questions

What is the HCP Method?

The patent-pending HCP Method is a unique algorithmic approach to analyzing a project schedule in order to reveal and extract a wealth of detailed information critical to understanding the key aspects of any project schedule.

A primary output of the HCP analysis is a detailed list of the hidden critical paths (and near-critical paths) within the project, and the tasks requiring the most management attention. These "hidden critical tasks," often numbering in the dozens or hundreds, are key tasks on which project managers might not otherwise know to focus their attention. Other portions of the report detail actual flaws and inconsistencies in the schedule, hidden risk factors and various opportunities for improving the overall schedule.

How do I use the HCP Method? Is there any software to install?

We developed the proprietary HCP Method and we use it in our project management consulting business to help us provide extremely valuable information to our clients about their projects. To gain the benefits of HCP by yourself, you need to follow 3 simple steps! For guidance click here.

For HCP analysis there is no need to download software. In orded to assimilate the HCP paths located by the HCP analysis in your MS Project schedule, there is a friendly and free Addon.

Which project management software do you support?

We currently provide our HCP Deep Schedule Analysis on Primavera and Microsoft Project schedule files. If you are using a different project management system, please contact us and we'll determine if we can analyze the data in that format.

What's wrong with relying on the CPM critical path?

The CPM critical path highlights the activities in the schedule which have a combined total float of zero. As every project manager knows, a delay in these activities will cause the entire project to finish behind schedule. However, awareness of the CPM critical path is only the tip of the iceberg.

Besides the CPM critical path, there are typically many "hidden critical paths" which have a duration float of slightly less than the CPM critical path. If the project manager is unaware of these paths, and the activities included within them, there is a high probability that the lack of close management attention to these non-CPM activities will result in the project finishing late.

Consider the following situations:

  • The CPM critical path is not the longest path in the schedule. Without applying the HCP Method, there is no way to discover the longest path in the schedule, or to know which tasks within it require close management attention. If things should change during project execution (as they often do in reality), suddenly the longest path (which was not previously known to be critical at all) may become the critical path! In such a situation, the whole focus of 'how to manage this project' shifts from the first known critical path to the new critical path. If the HCP Method were applied from the start of the project together with the CPM method, there would be no surprises at all.
  • Constraints cause only a portion of the critical path to be shown as the CPM critical path. The HCP Method reveals the entire critical path – from the beginning of the project to the end, and not just the portion with total float/slack <=0.
  • Your project schedule contains dozens or hundreds of "near-critical" paths. Relying only on CPM, you will have to spend a huge amount of time and effort locating the second critical path and the third one. If you'll invest many more hours, you might be able to discover the tenth critical path. Besides the fact that no one has the time to invest in this effort, large construction projects often contain hundreds (or even 1000+) near-critical paths, all of which have only slightly greater total duration float than the CPM critical path. In order to ensure a successful project, you need to know about ALL these paths, and the activities within them, in order to allocate the appropriate management resources. Otherwise, there is a significant chance that one or more of these paths will end up causing the entire project to extend beyond the deadline.

Why I do need HCP?

An HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report on your project schedule will provide you with critical information on your schedule that you simply cannot get in any other way. Some of the particular benefits of obtaining an HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report include:

  • Highlight tasks requiring special attention
  • Identify serious flaws in schedule integrity
  • Identify opportunities for dramatic schedule improvement
  • Reveal hidden risks in the schedule
  • Ensure alignment between different perspectives on the project
  • Receive an overall confidence measure of a project's likely success

Read more detail about each of these benefits on the HCP Benefits page.

For whom is HCP most useful?

The results of an HCP Deep Schedule Analysis are delivered in the form of an HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report. This report holds great value for every level of project management and every player in the project, including:

  • Schedulers
  • Schedule consultants
  • Planning managers
  • Project managers
  • Contractors
  • Asset owners/investors
  • All parties involved in the resolution of construction claims

Select one of the following to learn more about the value HCP delivers in particular types of applications:

What is an HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report?

The HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report condenses into a single document a wealth of critical information you need to know about your project schedule.

The first section of the report is an executive summary containing a unique Project Success Expectation graph, which presents a high-level, at-a-glance assessment of the integrity and robustness of the project schedule. The second section contains a detailed Schedule Integrity Analysis, in which important errors and inconsistencies are detailed.

The third and final section, HCP Critical Path Analysis, reveals crucial information hidden deep within the project – information you cannot get anywhere else.

View a sample HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report.

How much does it cost to get an HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report for my project?

As a new client, you are entitled to a free, no-strings-attached introductory HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report on your own project. The free introductory HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report includes a wealth of valuable information about your project schedule, but is primarily intended to demonstrate the great value that the complete report can provide you.

Once you have had a chance to review the introductory report, we are confident that you will want to order the full report for every project in which you are involved. For more details and purchase options please click here.

How can I protect the confidentiality of my project schedule?

Firstly, HCP is committed to protecting your privacy and your confidential information. (For details, please review our privacy policy.)

Secondly, after performing HCP analysis in our site, you have the option to delete all files. If you choose this option, all analysis files will be deleted, without any option to restore.

Thirdly, if you choose not to delete the files - they will be deleted 7 days after analysis was done.

If you choose to upload a file to us, so we'll perform the HCP analysis, we incorporate industry-standard SSL encryption from GeoTrust to secure your file while it is being uploaded to our server. You may click the GeoTrust icon to verify the secure status of this Web site.

In addition, you may completely remove all activity/task names from your schedule file before uploading it to us. Even though no proprietary information will be transmitted to us, we will still be able to analyze the schedule. (Note, however, that the omission of activity/task names will make it a bit more difficult for you to understand the resulting analysis report, as there will obviously be no activity/task names/descriptions. Instead, you will have use the WBS activity/task number as a reference to the activities/tasks in your schedule.)

What does HCP Project Management Consulting do?

HCP Project Management Consulting has been providing project management consulting to clients since 2004, specializing in the creation, analysis and optimization of complex project schedules.

Over a period of years, the founder, Tal Levanon, developed and perfected a unique, mathematically-based method of analyzing project schedules, called the Hidden Critical Path (HCP) method (patent pending, US PTO serial no. 11/361,809). The HCP Method reveals critical information hidden deep within Gantt-type project schedules – information which is invaluable for dramatically improve the planning, evaluation, execution and control of any project.

Beginning in 2009, HCP began offering detailed analysis reports of project schedules to project managers, schedule experts, contractors, asset owners and construction claims attorneys, worldwide. These professionals uploadded a Primavera or MS Project schedule file to HCP via its Web site and, within days, receive a Deep Schedule Analysis with an unprecedented wealth of critical management intelligence.

From 2017, everyone can do the HCP analysis by himself/herself, without human intervention through HCP site.