The HCP Method

The patent HCP (Hidden Critical Path) 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 (because they do not appear in the traditional CPM critical path). The analysis also details flaws and inconsistencies in the schedule, hidden risk factors and various opportunities for improving the overall schedule.

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.

Benefits of the HCP Deep Schedule Analysis

The benefits of obtaining an HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report on your project schedule 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.

HCP Deep Schedule Analysis Report

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

Click here to learn more about the HCP Deep Schedule Analysis report..

Applications of the HCP Method

For details and examples of how the HCP Method can help for particular applications, select one of the following application-specific information pages: