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Hadassah Project and HCP-Go – Tal Levanon presents Case Study

Meet the author:

Tal Levanon – Founder and partner in “Tal Levanon – HCP Ltd”, an expert project scheduling consultant and creator of the Hidden Critical Paths (HCP).


This talk is a about: How the HCP reflected the status of the project throughout the project’s life and what can be learned from it?
The project: Light Rail, Hadassah Ein Kerem, Infra 1

This lecture is a case study about: How HCP reflected the status of the project throughout it and what cannot be learned from it?

The case study is in a project called: light rail

Hadassah Ein Kerem

Infra 1

What does INFRA 1 mean? Infra 1 is the definition to moving the infrastructure and opening a route for the next project called Infra 2. Infra 2 is the franchisee’s project, in which he builds the tracks and systems and operates the train.

Many, many thanks to Rami Omassis, the project manager for all the photos.

A few words before we dive into the schedule.

Location of the project – the project takes place in Hadassah. The project area is all that is surrounded by orange.
You can see that the project is in the area of the hospital and the university.

What does it mean?

All the complexity of the engineering work while moving vehicles, hospitalization of patients, children’s home, studies, exams – all together.

Project Content – The project contains all of these major structures and more. For example, electrical structure – rectifier, acoustic wall, sidewalk, console bridge, underground pedestrian crossing, Morag bridge, Hadassah bridge, warehouse, drivers’ room and transformers electrical room, the western junction.

In addition, they also have the nurses’ parking lot, the entire road to Sapir Square and more.

All this complexity is carried out in parallel to another project.

The Ora Hadassah project, which contained three bridges with its complexity.

This is the boundary line between the two projects.

For all the complexity – how two contractors are at the same point in space, at the same point in time – this is a different lecture. I mention this because it’s a spoiler hint for the sequel.

Project schedules –

The biggest difficulty in the project is in the area that includes the underground passage with the Morag Bridge and the Hadassah Bridge.

This area has two possible solutions.

The first solution, close the road completely. With this solution it is possible to dig the entire road and build the underground passage in one go.

The second solution is to close the road in parts. That is, move traffic, for example, to the northern half and carry out the works in the southern half of the road, and then switch – move the traffic to the southern side and carry out the works on the northern side.

We initially built two possible skeletal schedules.

  1. A short schedule, which includes the closure of the road and its duration was 36 months.
  2. A long schedule, which includes traffic transfers and leaving the university road open for traffic that lasts 44 months.

It was defined in the tender that Hadassah would choose between the two alternatives within a few months of its start, and by then two different schedules would have to be built.

In reality, Hadassah decided relatively shortly after the work start order that the road would remain open to traffic.

Therefore only the long schedule was the effective schedule and the schedule according to they worked.

What were the areas for delivery?

Since different areas in the project are submitted to various factors, four milestones for delivery have been defined:

  • Milestone 6 was the delivery of the Hadassah Bridge or as known as the Terminus Bridge which named after the station that is the last station on the line – 31 months from the start of work order.
  • Milestone 7 – the entire area called “outside Hadassah” – 25 months from the start of work.
  • Milestone 8 – the area called “Inside Hadassah” – 37 months.

It can be seen that milestones 6-7-8 are delivery to the franchisee.

All the rest of the project and all the additional work content in the project, which is delivered partly to Jerusalem and partly to Hadassah, its target for completion was 44 months from the start of work order.

For those of you who are wondering where milestone 9 is – the answer is that milestone 9 is the end of contract work, while milestone 10 is the end of delivery.

Who are the main participants in the project?

There were a lot of participants in the project, I mention them “in a nutshell”.

The three most significant and most important are, of course, the client, Moriah Jerusalem Development Company, project management – David Ackerstein Engineering Company, and the contractor J. D. Barzani.

Moriah has its own clients – the Master Plan for Transportation and Agis, who are the bodies that represent the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance and do the overall planning of the project.

There are of course also all the planners, who are constantly required to provide answers. The leading ones – the architect Aaronson and the constructor G.A.SH. And there are other planners for each area, such as traffic, electricity, sewage, water, lighting and more.

On the other hand, there are the recipients of the project – the university and Hadassah Hospital, who are in the area all the time and also suffer from the noise and the works.

And there is Shafir who is the franchisee – who will receive the project.

For all of these, there are also, for example, consultants, such as the one who is talking right now – the schedule consultant, and there is also a safety consultant and other additional consultants …

But we will focus on the three main participants, as we examine the aspect of schedules.

What was the working method in the schedule?

Do you know the situation where the contractor submits a schedule, we return comments to him, he submits comments again, and we return comments again and again, the process can take half a year, 8 months and often not end until the end of the project? In fact – a project that takes place without a basic schedule…?! Do you know the situation? This is not the situation here!

If you want to read about the method and the way and what the advantages and disadvantages are – you are welcome to blog at :https://hcp-consulting.com/together/ – together and not separately.

What does the method say in a nutshell?

The contractor submits a detailed schedule. First.
From this point, we sit down with him, the project manager and the schedule consultant.
Together, we build the basic schedule and update it every month.

All schedules and their meanings are reported to Moria: until the closing of a basic schedule, a basic schedule and any monthly update – monthly.

In addition, HCP Go analysis was done on all contractual milestones for delivery and for each upcoming milestone, in the basic schedule and in each update.

You can do it too! Download HCP Go to your Project, and do HCP Go analysis right away on your project!

What gives HCP Go analysis?

The first and most basic thing he gives: two metrics.

  1. How many activities are left to do in the project from the point in time that the analysis is done.
  2. How many connections are there between the activities.

The goal is to see decline all the time. If there is a certain increase there is some problem.

As you can see, the basic schedule contains more than 1100 activities and almost 1600 connections.

We can see that in most months there is a decrease, but occasionally – there is an increase. That is, something happened during these months.

To better understand what we are dealing with, let’s look at a small part of HCP analysis and its meanings.

First thing – key dates in the schedule.
Earliest start date: 14/01/2018.
End date of the planned project: 13/09/2021.
Range of dates analyzed: from beginning to end

So the analysis is performed on the whole project.

The effective date for project analysis is: when we do the analysis. This analysis is done when the basic schedule was closed – almost four months from the start of work order.

In parenthesis I say, that four months, for a project of 1100 activities – this is not too long time. We may have been able to improve and shorten it, and yet, it is not a bad achievement, most projects of this scale fail to do so.

Number of activities to perform – 1105. Number of connections – 1554.

The next thing is interesting. The HCP maps the network of activities by paths, according to the connections between the activities and searches for the most critical paths by HCP. Who will be the most critical?

According to Preto – 80-20. 20% of the paths will make 80% of the problem.

Where do we find those 20%?

We will look for all the longest paths, and those that will have an buffer of up to 20% of the project duration. In other words – we will look for all paths whose continuation will be 80% of the project duration and above.   

If more than 50,000 paths are found, the margin will be reduced: from 20% to 10% to 5% and so on. If they find less than 10 paths – the buffer will increase.

Sounds like a range between 10 paths and 50,000 is a “slightly larger” range? In reality – it works.

And what happened in our project?

The HCP tells us: Pay attention! We are only at a buffer of 3% of the duration of the project, which are only 1.3 months and we find here 925 paths, of which 551 excessive and 374 are unique.

You’re probably asking – what do these numbers tell us?

374  paths is the amount of processes we need to manage, and all they have is a buffer of 1.3 months!

1.3 months – they are only five weeks!

A second question you will probably ask will be – wait, what are excessive paths?

Oh, well you asked!

If there is a path that is A-B-C-D-E-F, and there is a connection between B and E, then in fact another path is created that is A-B-E-F. Everything that happens on the short path will also happen on the long path. That is, the short path is superior to the long path.

Do we need to delete the shortest path? Most of the time – yes. Sometimes we need the connection because it reminds us of something very very special and in these cases we will leave it. When we do HCP mapping of the paths, the short path creates “noise” because it creates the illusion of a short path with a large buffer – which is not true at all! Therefore, the HCP knows how to delete all those excess paths and it exhausts the information from the project network.

So we have 551 excess paths here. Now let’s see the most significant comment.

This comment goes like this: Note that more than 50,000 paths were found in the 5% range of the total project duration range analyzed.

What does the comment mean?

5% of the duration of a 44-month project is 2.2 months.

I mean, in 1.3 months we find 925 paths, but in 2.2 months we “jump” to more than 50,000 paths in the project !!

OK. 🤨

How do we read all this information except a lot of numbers?

In one short and relevant map, which says:

What is the evaluation of the success of the project – what is the probability of meeting timetables, contents and budget?

The table is built from a mapping of all paths, creating an HCP Score that mathematically analyzes these paths and perfects (weighting) with additional parameters. On the whole subject, you can read on our website in the “HCP BOK” tab.

In addition to the table, we get the histogram that describes the paths in the project. What do we see here?

The longest paths, which have zero floats, that is, have no float at all, and are the critical paths according to HCP. You can see them in the first short line – there are 6 such paths.

Even in only 6 buffer days we find 6 paths, 45 paths with about 9 buffer days, 54 paths with only 10 buffer days and so on – a total of 374 paths. Remember we are talking about 1.3 months? Well, the histogram teaches us that these paths concentrated up to only 13 days and between 1.3 months and 2.2 months an “explosion” was found with more than 50,000 lanes …

What it means?

The project is very, very dense, has lots of paths with a very small margin.

Another thing is the histogram configuration. The following sentence that I will tell you took me a long time to find it.

A histogram that looks like a normal graph (also called a Gaussian graph or a bell graph) or the beginning of such a curve, describes a project that can be done, not easy to do, not simple to do, but possible to do. On the other hand, a histogram that looks like an ECG test – it’s not good…

In this project we see the beginning of such a Gauss so the situation is not easy at all, but possible.    

What is going on in the field?

The traffic is marked in green and execution at this point is marked in yellow. That is, incite the movement north and do the walls H14, H15.

We finished the basic schedule in early May, which is the fifth month of the project and at the end we are making a first update.

The HCP emphasizes that we are analyzing the project from 27/05/2018 until the end.

The amount of activities and contexts left to do.

HCP analysis now manages to pass the 3% and 5% we saw earlier, and in 10% of the project duration, which are 3.9 months are

26,000 paths, 18,000 excessive and the remaining 8,620 unique to work with.

Beyond 20% there are more than 50,000 paths.

And what does the HCP map say?

The map says there is a big improvement! The probability of staying on schedules is not bad at all, but it will not be simple – the probability of staying a low budget, that is, we will be paid to be able to meet deadlines.

And what does the histogram say?

As we move from month to month, we see that still at 20% of the remaining project duration there are more than 50,000 paths. However, the histograms all appear to be the beginning of a normal distribution.

Not bad! We can work with it.

Until … the ninth month. In the ninth month, suddenly, the probability map was worse, at 10% buffer there is an explosion to 50,000 paths and you can see that the histogram has been greatly reduced and we have 159 unique paths at 5% buffer for the duration of the project!

What’s going on in the project? What is the reason for the change in the schedule?

The reason is that the contractor began drilling in the screw bridge, and signs of a reinforced concrete surface were discovered. Measurements are made and the results are sent and instructions are received for repairing waterproofing for the walls and filling the pits in CLSM.

In other words – we have an unplanned fault here, which is immediately reflected in the update schedule and the HCP reflects this thing – in the probability map and the mapping of the paths. 

What is going on in the field? 

At the end of October 2018, a traffic transfer was made – the traffic was transferred to the south side of the road and the Morag Bridge, the northern part of the underground crossing and three commissioners from the Hadassah Bridge can be made – 4, 5, 6.

And again we do monthly monitoring, and again we get results.

By the tenth month they are already managing to take over the fault slowly.

In the 11th month we see an improvement – we have 7,600 unique paths at a buffer of 10% of the duration of the project.

And what happens in the 12th month?

The histogram and probability map change again.

What’s going on in the project? 

There is a problem with the northern part of the underground passage – deficiencies have been discovered in the plans! To deal with the problem, activities of casting the northern section are split into 1/3 and 2/3.

In addition, no approval has yet been received for the transfer of traffic to Phase 2B! To remind you, we are in stage 2a. There is a municipal approval but there is still no police approval.

All faults affect the schedule and the HCP analysis shows this immediately. The probability map turns red and the histogram has 103 unique paths whose buffer is up to 5% of the project duration and they look like a project in themselves with their own bell curve that tends to be critical. At 10% buffer there is again an “explosion” of paths, with more than 50,000.

We’re moving on to next month.

The situation is still difficult and we see it both here and in the histogram.

A month later, we start to “take over” the project.

Please note – there are more than 36,000 paths here at 10% of the project duration.

You can see that we have a lot of paths, but they are spread out better over the schedule, the map of probabilities improves, and in the field, we move on to 16/04/2019 to Phase 2B.

Traffic is moving to the north side, and now the southern part of the underground passage, retaining walls and stairs have to be made.

In the 16th month update, on the one hand, the probability map looks good. We can see a lot of paths and map at 20% spacing them all. We have 3,428 paths.

On the other hand, we get something that looks like two bell curves.

What’s really going on here? Why does it look like we have two projects?

This is because all of the following areas are within 20% of the range of critical and critical paths:

North Side Infrastructure on University Street

and also

Arranging a main entrance

and also

Phase B underground passage

and also

Traffic transfer 2 c

and also

South Side Infrastructure on University Street

and also

Wall H19

and also

Hadassah Bridge (Terminus) …

All of these participate in all paths.

We don’t just see here, as if we have several areas of projects that stand on their own.

We move on – the 17th month, 1351 unique paths and we see the different areas.

And again in the 18th month.

We have a big problem, which is reflected in the map of probabilities and the histogram. And what’s going on here?

On the one hand we have problems with making a lead on the south side of University Street and making an L-shaped lead, the condensate pipe required “6 but it was designed” 4 – so an order needs to be updated. This inhibits the high voltage electrical infrastructure.

Wall H19 – received except for the cancellation of an existing seam and the execution of a new seam – in the area of the water pipe passage in the wall.

And at the Terminus Bridge – where a time window was received from the university to drill piles, because, please note, we are in June … The end of the second semester and July are university exams – and it is not possible to drill at any time you want and coordinate with the university when to drill.

But the worst thing is not all of these.

The critical path is changing and is in contact with the Ora-Hadassah project. Remember the “spoiler” from the beginning?

The Ora-Hadassah project cannot remove the tools, trucks and materials from the project but only through Hadassah.

At this point in time, this is delaying the Hadassah project, in the construction of all the supporting walls located at the same seam point between the two projects.

In order to succeed in dealing with and completing both Ora-Hadassah on time and Hadassah on time, a process of turnkey test begins to test whether it is possible to keep on track on the goals of the two projects – to do the entire contents of the projects on time and even shorten the duration of the Hadassah project.

We’re progressing … starting to take over a bit, the HCP map is getting better and the histogram looks not bad.

In the field – the traffic passes to the southern side after we have completed the underground passage in its southern part and the southern carrier and do the pillars of Hadassah Bridge 1, 2, 3 and the access plate.

Things look reasonable in the 20th month.

And in the 21st month again a lot of new problems are floating.

In the 22nd month we see a change. The probability map is good and the histogram shows that the project is starting to “squeeze” in the direction of the critical paths.

What’s going on?

On the one hand – the delay caused by the link between the Ora-Hadassah project and the Hadassah project charges its price.

On the other hand – the turnkey is in the air. The contractor knows that he should try to finish the entire project on time, and preferably even early, in order to receive the award. He needs to start getting organized for the complex execution as early as possible – and this is reflected in the project paths.

In the 23rd month of the project, there is indeed a move beyond the agreement. The contractor should present a schedule that meets the turn key goals.

With the help of the probability map and the histogram, you can see that all the activities are compressed:

The map – on its “red” side, in the histogram – the number of critical and hidden critical paths has increased, in 10% of the project duration there are more than 50,000 paths, and in 5% of the project there are 1,874 paths with a gap of only 20 days.

A month later – the situation improves. The contractor begins to take control of things, performs the activities and activities begin to end.

And so the maps of probabilities become optimistic and the histograms of the paths begin to change – a few critical paths, more hidden critical paths.

The amount of paths now visible at 20% of the project duration – decreases from 5374 paths in the 25th month to 878 paths in the 28th month, 392 paths in the 29th month and 65 paths in the 31st month.

In the 32nd month – we begin to gather towards the end. It remains to do geometry work in final development throughout the project area and a checkpoint at the entrance to the hospital. At 20% buffer there are only 10 paths.

From the 33rd month – there are final execution touches and the beginning of dedication. The following months – are months in which final dedications and corrections are made.

How did the project end?

  • Content – The entire content of the planned project has been done, including a number of additions.
  • Budget – The contractor’s cost in signing the contract was NIS 98 million, as part of the turn key agreement, the budget was increased to 110, of which NIS 3 million was due to shortening schedules.
  • In terms of schedule – The project is scheduled to end on 13/09/2021, which is a future date even for today.

The project was completed on 25/03/2021 – that is, the project was shortened by 5.6 months.

In conclusion – how do you do such a “miracle”?

This miracle has three legs:

The first leg: working on a schedule “together and not separately”. The client, project management, contractor and scheduling consultant. Only if you work together with each other shoulder to shoulder and actually fight every event that happens and do not fight each other – at that moment you manage to finish the project as you see, even with shortening schedules.

The second leg – HCP Go.

Analysis of the basic schedule and analysis of the schedule each month gives the structure of the project and the emphases to both the project manager and the contractor on the critical and hidden critical paths.

In this way things surprise us less – we have more control over the project and the meaning of project control means meeting deadlines or even shortening schedules.

The third leg, without which it is impossible, is the issue of the time buffer.

In this project a 20% time buffer was set. Large portions of this buffer were utilized for the benefit of the project and its execution.

On the subject of the time buffer – how to use it, what to do with it and how to shorten it – you can read about it in the post – https://hcp-consulting.com/time-buffer/ and besides – this is another lecture, completely separate.

Are there any question? We will gladly answer.

No one will reveal new details about your schedule?
Hmmm… 🤔

If you want to test that, try HCP-Go

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