Owl Analytics

Owl Analytics collects schedule updates from the user and provides cards with reporting for status of project schedule. In the example below, five updates of a schedule have been uploaded to the system. The cards are shown as produced by Owl Analytics with an explanation of their value.

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Trending Activities by Criticality

Activities by criticality exampleThe graph represents the number of activities in six categories:
  1. Super critical activities with negative floats. These activities need immediate intervention. The schedule would slip if no corrective action is taken.
  2. Critical activities with zero floats. These are the activities driving the critical path and special attention is required to keep them on time.
  3. Near critical activities with floats of 10 working days or less. These activities can become critical anytime and they need continuous monitoring.
  4. Normal activities with floats between 10 and 44 working days. The example graph shows that the number of these activities is decreasing and this is not a good sign for this project.
  5. High float means that these activities are not well planned. These are the majority group in the example and they keep increasing. This concludes that the schedule build needs to be revisited.
  6. Completed activities. These activities are expected to increase from one update to the next to prove the project is making progress.


Activities by Status

Activities by status exampleThe graph represents the number of activities in three categories:
  1. Not-Started Activities
  2. Active (In-Progress) Activities
  3. Completed Activities
For a typical project progressing normally, “Not-Started” activities will keep decreasing while “Completed” activities will keep increasing. If this is not case, then the project progress needs management attention.


Activities by Type

Activities by type exampleThe graph represents the number of activities in five categories:
  1. Level of Effort Activities
  2. Task-based Activities
  3. WBS Summary Activities
  4. Milestones
  5. Resource-based activities

This chart is for the purpose of showing an item of schedule quality. For this example, the first instance of the schedule shows a high number of milestones that is a little less than the number of task-based activities. This may be acceptable for the first instance but keeping the same pattern for the rest of the project means the schedule is not focused on identifying the works activities as much as the focus on just meeting milestones.


Average Float

average float

This chart shows the average of total float and the average of free float. It is normal and expected that the average total float decreases with project progress. When it increases, that means something abnormal happened to the schedule.

Total float curve and free float curve will intersect at the end of the project. If they intersect before project completion, then the schedule is both super critical and becoming behind completion date.


Lag Count

lag count



This chart shows the number of lag and leads (negative lags). It is always recommended not to use lags. Lags and leads are considered hidden risks. They represent “something” like approvals, permitting, or just waiting. If these are converted to visible activities, it is better to manage them and their risks.

The project team might use lags (not leads) to develop the initial high level schedule. However, it is expected that the number of lags decreases with project progress because of the fact that activities get completed and more detailed activities are added to replace lags.

If the number of lags increases with project progress, then there is an alarm that something not favorable is happening with the schedule.


Lag Range

lag range

This shows the maximum and minimum value of lags. When lags are negative (leads), they need to be completely removed. They mislead the schedule calculation and may be replaced by activities.

Positive lags are recommended not exceed two weeks or 10 working days. More than that value, a lag would represent an activity or would be used to produce a fake schedule. Long duration lags will be decreased with project progress.


Negative Float Count

negative float count

This shows the number of activities that have negative floats. If the project team keeps doing what they are doing, these activities will cause schedule slippage for sure. This chart gives the project team early warning that these activities need intervention and recovery plans to remove the negative floats and put the project back on track.

It is normal to see activities with negative floats and then they disappear from the schedule due to recovery plans.


Total Float Variation

total float variation

This is a classification of non-complete activities based on their total float value. It is normal that the activities with low float (10 day or less) increases with project progress. It is also expected that the activities with high floats (more than 44 days) to decrease.

In the example chart, the activities with high floats are almost not reducing or increasing. That means that these activities do not represent core work activities and their successors are missing. The example chart shows that the project is achieving progress but the schedule does not describe the execution.


Activities with Negative Floats

activities with negative floats

This is a table that shows the activities that have negative total floats and the value of each float.

If the project team keeps doing what they are doing, these activities will cause schedule slippage. This table gives the project team early warning that these activities need intervention and recovery plans to remove the negative floats and put the project back on track.


Late Critical Activities

late critical activities

This is a table to show the delayed critical activities compared to the schedule baseline (the earliest update available in the database). The table shows the activities, their baseline finish date, their current finish date, and the value of the delay in calendar days.

critical path on time.


Critical Activities Recently Delayed

critical activities recently delayed

This is a table to show the critical activities delayed since previous schedule update. The table shows the activities, their baseline finish date, their current finish date, and the value of the delay in calendar days.

This represents an early warning to the project team about activities on the critical path and just got delayed. The impact is a kind of fresh and hopefully the project team will be able to get fast and recover the issues that led to these delays.


Actual Activities vs Planned Finish Activities

actual activities vs planned finish

This is a table to show the critical activities delayed since previous schedule update. The table shows the activities, their baseline finish date, their current finish date, and the value of the delay in calendar days.

This represents an early warning to the project team about activities on the critical path and just got delayed. The impact is a kind of fresh and hopefully the project team will be able to get fast and recover the issues that led to these delays.


Actual Activities vs Planned Start Activities

actual activities vs planned start

This chart shows a histogram of the number of activities planned to start in a certain week versus the number of activities actually started during the same week.

If the number of actually started activities equals to the number of planned activities, then the project is well progressing.

If the number of actually started activities is higher than the number of planned activities, then the project suffers out-of-sequence work. Out of sequence work is one of the key reasons for re-work and lost productivity.

If the number of actual finished activities is less than the number of planned, then the project is trending behind schedule.