Deltek Acumen CPLI is part of a Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) 14 Point Assessment metric group. But be warned that Acumen’s metric analyzer calculates Assessment 13 Critical Path Length Index (CPLI) differently than the DCMA 14 Point Assessment. Let take a look at this.

The DCMA Assessment 13 – CPLI provides a forward-looking metric on the efficiency required on remaining tasks to achieve the project deadline. So, if the DCMA Assessment 12, Missed Task metric, says your project is falling behind, Assessment 13, the CPLI, Index gives you an idea of what it will take to get back on track to meet the deadline.

The CPLI index also can raise a warning flag when the efficiency required to get the schedule back on track is excessive, i.e., unachievable.

This article demonstrates the difference between the DCMA CPLI and Deltek Acumen’s CPLI in its DCMA 14 Point metric group and explains how to interpret the Deltek Acumen CPLI results.

The equation to calculate CPLI from the DCMA 14 Point Assessment is as follows:

Where CPL is the critical path length, i.e., the project remaining duration along the critical path. Note CPL considers the remaining duration, as CPLI is a forward-looking metric. The equation follows: in the numerator is CPL plus TF or total float, either positive or negative. This sum is divided by CPL in the denominator.

Let’s demonstrate setting up our schedule and two report updates in Acumen to prepare for a DCMA 14 Point metric group analysis. This way we can investigate the CPLI index value calculated by the DCMA 14 Point metric group.

Follow these steps to import a schedule and two snapshots and then assign the schedule as the baseline of the snapshots:

- Choose S1 // Projects | Oracle Primavera | Single Project from a XER file, Figure 1.

- Select the baseline Wellmont02-BL and link it to the workbook Workbook1.
- Left click on Wellmont02-BL.
- Right click on Wellmont02-BL and from the popup menu choose New Snapshot | Oracle Primavera | Multiple Projects from a P6 XER file, Figure 2.

- Link the two snapshots Wellmont02-M1 and Wellmont02-M2 to the workbook Workbook1.
- Click to Import All Projects.
- Left click on snapshot Wellmont02-BL to select it.
- Right click on snapshot Wellmont02-M1 and choose Assign Baseline from the popup menu, Figure 3.

- Assign Wellmont02-BL as the baseline for Wellmont02-M1.
- Right click on snapshot Wellmont02-M2 and choose Assign Baseline from the popup menu.
- Assign Wellmont02-BL as the baseline for Wellmont02-M2.
- Choose Import All Projects again.
**Note: that it is very important to reimport all projects after assigning the snapshots a baseline.**If you do not reimport the schedule files, the metric analyses will be incorrect.

The final imported baseline and snapshots appear in Figure 4.

Let us now proceed and perform the DCMA 14 Point metric group analysis.

- Choose S2 // Diagnostics.
- In the bottom playlist select DCMA 14 Point.
- Click the Fuse button and the Ribbon Analyzer results appear as follows, Figure 5.

Note the CPLI of Wellmont02-M2 is 0.85. Let us now hand calculate the CPLI of snapshot M2 for confirmation of results.

- Choose S1 // Projects.
- Left click on Wellmont02-M2 to select.
- In the bottom details choose the Status tab and review the Duration fields, Figure 6.

- Transfer the Remaining Duration 18-d and Total Float -5-d to the CPLI index equation.

When we compare the hand calculated value 0.72 to the Acumen DCMA 14 Point computed value 0.85 we find they do not match. What went wrong? Apparently, Deltek modified the CPLI equation by replacing CPL or project remaining duration with project remaining – elapsed – duration. Elapsed duration includes nonworking days, whereas the CPL value comes from business days only. Deltek’s equation then becomes:

Returning to S1 // Projects and the second month snapshot in Acumen, we find in the bottom details the remaining elapsed duration of the project is 4w, four weeks, again, Figure 6. To acquire a more precise CPL_{Elapsed} value we do the following:

- Click home button | Deltek Acumen options.
- Select Workbook page.
- In Display settings change Elapsed Duration Time Unit from weeks to Days.
- The Remaining (Elapsed) project duration is 32-d.
- The CPLI equation using these values is as follows.

This computed CPLI is close to the DCMA 14 Point CPLI. Let us see if we can match more closely:

- Click home button | Deltek Acumen options.
- Select Workbook page.
- In Display settings change Elapsed Duration Time Unit from Days to Hours.
- The Remaining (Elapsed) project duration is 791-h.
- Dividing 791-h by 24-hours the Remaining (Elapsed) project duration is 32.96-d.
- The CPLI equation then becomes.

Now the hand calculation exactly matches the Acumen Fuse DCMA 14 Point metric group value for Wellmont02-M2.

The CPLI is a measure of the realistic possibility of meeting the schedule plan end date. Any progressing schedule generating a CPLI less than 0.95 is flagged as a project in trouble.

Keep in mind that the Deltek Acumen CPLI value is less conservative than the hand calculated DCMA 14 Point CPLI value, because the Deltek result calculates from Remaining (Elapsed) Duration, which includes both working and nonworking days.

So, if the Deltek Acumen calculated CPLI value is less than 0.95 you know definitively your project is in trouble of not meeting the deadline. If the Deltek Acumen CPLI value is 0.95 or above, we recommend you also (hand calculate or) evaluate the CPLI using remaining working days only, i.e., excluding nonworking days. And in this way, you confirm a passing CPLI metric score.

## Summary

It is important to be aware that the Acumen Fuse DCMA 14 Point metric group computes the CPLI using an elapsed CPL, which includes nonworking days, whereas the DCMA hand calculation uses CPL, excluding nonworking days.

Once the variables in the Acumen CPLI equation are fully understood, the CPLI is an insightful schedule progress indicator.

Again, the CPLI is a forward-looking efficiency metric that also warns when the schedule is in danger of not meeting the deadline. And your schedule may be so far behind that successful corrective action plans are difficult implement.