Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding milestones, part of Project Management Foundations: Schedules.
Milestones are markers you add to your schedule to flag events, highlight progress, or acknowledge achievements. A milestone can represent a significant decision. It marks the point when you decide whether to continue, or which solution you decide to go with. If a decision is delayed, all you have to do is reschedule the milestone, and the rest of your tasks move later in time. Milestones can also flag the beginning or end of a project phase or portion of the project.
Add a milestone to the beginning of a phase to mark when it starts. That way, if earlier tasks are delayed, the phase's starting milestone and task will move to later dates. Add another milestone to the end of the phase to show when it ends. Go ahead and add milestones to the beginning and end of the entire project. All the tasks affected by the project start date are easy to identify. The end milestone shows whether the project will be on time, late, or ahead of schedule. By adding a milestone when you've completed a deliverable, you can see the progress you've made, woo-hoo. Add milestones to deliverables or other progress points every so often. A good approach is to have at least a milestone or two during each reporting period.
For example, the outline of training topics, the rough content for training and the final workbook all make great milestones for the sample project. When the work leading up to that milestone is done, the milestone is done too. And you can clearly identify the progress you've made. Milestones are helpful when there's a significant hand-off to another team. That way, you can keep track of when the next team should expect to start work. Milestones also work to flag important events, such as a delivery from the printer.
You don't care what goes on at the printer's location. You just want the notebooks delivered on time. A milestone chart is a simple way to show progress to your stakeholders. That way, they can see at a glance where the project stands. The great thing about milestones is that they don't take any time. They're usually set to a duration of zero hours or days, so you can add as many as you want to the project without affecting the amount of work Or the project duration. If your project schedule has long stretches between milestones, add more to highlight progress that's being made. For example, if the development of training content runs for several weeks, you can add milestones for completing different modules, so that you have a milestone each week.
Milestones help you see decision points, significant progress points, handoffs, and important events. Because they don't take up any time, you can add all the milestones you want to help you manage your project.
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- Identifying the work that needs to be done
- Adding milestones
- Delaying or overlapping tasks with lag and lead time
- Assigning resources
- Balancing workloads
- Adding buffers and baselines to the schedule
- Uncovering and correcting out schedule problems<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.