Even for the most seasoned managers, obtaining a comprehensive and accurate high-level management perspective of a complex project schedule is extremely difficult. Project managers, senior schedulers, CEOs, controllers, bank representatives, government auditors, assert owners and investors need a better way to understand the key aspects of a schedule without drilling down into the thousands of details inside the "black box."
The HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report delivers a new and unique tool for all senior players in a project to quickly and easily understand the essence of any complex project schedule.
The following three graphs present the essence of a schedule to those who need a high-level management perspective:
The HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report presents insights into the expected success levels of various aspects of a project. These estimations are based on an analysis of the robustness and integrity of the schedule itself (no actual budget or specification data is analyzed).
For example, this Project Success Expectation graph would indicate to a manager that the project will likely go over budget, and that the time schedule will need close attention to avoid missing deadlines.
The HCP Deep Schedule Analysis examines a number of fundamental technical issues within a project schedule in order to determine the overall integrity of the schedule. While the particular issues detailed in the report must be addressed by the schedulers and project managers, the Schedule Integrity Summary Graph included in the report presents an excellent high-level perspective on the integrity and robustness of the schedule itself.
The sample graph presented here indicates a very problematic schedule, due to the relatively large number of flaws found within it. With this information, the senior players in the project can influence project management to focus on the issues most important to them.
Perhaps the most valuable (and unique) information presented in the HCP Deep Analysis report is the Hidden Critical Paths Histogram.
What is a Hidden Critical Path?
A path within a schedule is a sequence of tasks which, together, form a process with a beginning and an end. In order for a project to succeed, all of these processes, or paths, must meet their planned timelines, budgets and specifications. A hidden critical path is a path which is somewhat shorter in duration than the longest path in the project. If any of the hidden critical paths extend beyond their planned time frame, the entire project schedule is in jeopardy.
For example, this HCP paths histogram indicates a reasonable project with a low likelihood of schedule overruns. This can be seen by the relatively low number of paths with short duration float, i.e., there are not too many paths which may jeopardize the schedule's delivery date. Furthermore, the majority of the paths in the project (as indicated by the tall bars towards the right of the graph) embody long duration float, and thus present a low risk to on-time project completion (because moderate delays in these paths will not push back the project's end date).
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