When you receive a schedule from someone else, you probably wonder what is hidden inside it.
When you create a schedule for your project or to submit it to your customer, you want to make sure you did a good job.
The HCP-Go addon to MS Project does exactly that. It analyzes the schedule, and makes a schedule analysis report in a very short time, consists of five parts:
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Schedule Quality Analysis
- Critical Path Analysis
In the Introduction you’ll have your logo (when license purchased), HCP iceberg image, Project manager name, Report generator name and Report generation date.
If you are interested in ‘Why the iceberg is our image?’ read here in Introduction.
The HCP report consists of 3 main parts to understand any project:
In this section you’ll find the basics dates info regarding the project, a summary of data derived from the Integrity Analysis and HCP Critical Path Analysis and most interesting – you’ll see a graph for estimating project success expectation according to the schedule, work contents and budget.
Schedule Integrity Analysis
If you look for testing the schedule and checking whether it does or doesn’t comply with the rules of ‘how to write a schedule’ – this is the right place! Regarding the reasons WHY it was written this way – read here.
The HCP Go checks the schedule for these issues:
- Tasks (activities) not linked to successor tasks.
- Start-to-Finish (SF) links.
- Tasks with Predated Successors.
- Tasks with Calendar Inconsistencies.
- Overdue Tasks.
- Summary Tasks with Link Issues:
a. Summary tasks linked to predecessor tasks.
b. Summary tasks linked to successor tasks
HCP Critical Path Analysis
This is the most interesting part about HCP!
This section maps for you the Critical Paths in the project, according to HCP and the Hidden Critical Paths. (To understand the difference between the Critical Path by CPM and the Critical Path by HCP, read here.
Furthermore, you can see the Critical and Hidden Critical HCP Paths Histogram: What is the slack of each path relative to the longest path (in days), and how many paths are there per each slack? Histogram of a good project, which have the best chances of being completed on schedule, looks like a Gauss curve (also called a bell curve, or normal distribution curve), or the beginning of one.
Question: How can I know all of the technical rules? Isn’t there something that can check the technical aspects for me?
Answer: Today we have HCP Go, HCP’s Project addon. With one click, you can analyze your schedule file – and get a free report with your results!
This last section of the HCP analysis report consists of:
- HCP Critical Path Analysis Overview
- Tasks in the HCP Critical Paths
- Opportunities for Bringing Forward the Schedule’s End Date
- Risk issues (1): Overlapping Tasks in the HCP Critical Paths
- Risk issues (2): Tasks in the HCP Hidden critical Paths
- Risk issues (3): Difficult-to-Track Tasks
- Unstarted (Overdue) Paths
- Identified HCP Paths
- Redundant HCP Paths
- Enhanced Schedule File
For every item raised in the HCP report, you need to ask ‘why did this happen?’. The answer that you’ll get – whether independently or from someone else, would either satisfy you and you could explain that the finding is logical and based in reality, or it would give some insight into the schedule and the project, and especially into things that should be changed or handled.
For an example of HCP analysis report with all the Critical path analysis by HCP method, see here .
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