Behind every “suddenly”, there must have been some gradual steps, nothing concrete happens overnight. The principle is applicable in Project Management, as a project manager, the productivity of your project is enhanced by how you can break your goals into different and achievable milestones.
Project milestones are tools that aid you in the task of delineating your project to ensure ease of accomplishment.
No doubt, one of the major reasons why some project managers fail in their projects is because of the lack of clear project milestones thereby causing them to lose focus on what they aim to achieve in their projects.
Having a project plan milestone simplifies the task of achieving the project objectives because it can serve as a tool for tracking the project activities. Project milestones will help you identify what you need to leverage to achieve your project goals.
Also, they will serve as a guide for marking the specific points along the timeline of a project to ensure that you miss out on nothing in the project.
This article addresses project milestones, the roles they play, and why you must hold them in high esteem as a project manager.
- Project milestones: what they offer you as a project manager
- Importance of project milestones in Project Management
- Milestones Project Management
- How to create milestone Project Management on Sinnaps
- Project milestones examples
- Gantt milestones
- How to create milestones with the Gantt chart
- Software project milestone
Project milestones: what they offer you as a project manager
The Milestones definition in Project Management is a marker in a project that signifies a change of stage in the development of a project. It shows the key events and maps forward progression in your project plan.
Also, project milestones offer you a task of zero duration that shows the achievement in a project. They depict a proper sequence of activities that build up incrementally until the project is completed.
You are allowed to know how the project is progressing with a milestone by implementing the task lists of your project sequentially. They are used as signal posts for a project start or end date, a need for external revenue, a need for budget checks, and submission of a major deliverable.
Project milestones usually have a fixed date but they do not always have duration. However, they serve as a reference point in Project Management for marking the major events in a project.
Project managers should set their project milestones while carrying out their project planning because doing this helps break the project down into manageable bits to avert getting overwhelmed in the process of execution.
Importance of project milestones in Project Management
- They help to monitor deadlines: you can achieve this by setting the main milestone in the planning phase of your project to enable you to have full control of the deadlines.
- They help to identify the bottlenecks of the project: you can easily identify the bottlenecks of the project with the milestones and address them.
- Deduce critical dates and events in your project: having a project milestone will create an overview of your project and simplifies the task of identifying the crucial dates and events.
- They enhance accountability: the team members will know what they are responsible for and will be motivated to get them done.
- They ensure effective allocation of time and resources: you are allowed to properly distribute the project resources to ensure on-time delivery and on budget.
- It improves the visibility of your project: the team can see what has been achieved and what is yet to be done. Again, they help in keeping track of the major events of the project.
- Again, having project milestones enhance your ability to make effective management decisions in time by implementing action-oriented steps sequentially in your project.
Sinnaps, an online Project Management tool is useful for managing your project to achieve the highlighted milestones. It will help break the project tasks into a manageable chunk for the team and create the proper synergy among the members.
Furthermore, the task of achieving earned value management (EVM) is made easier with Project milestones because it measures the key performance indicators (KPIs) which are scope, cost, and time. With earned value management, you can make vital decisions about the project activities which could affect the achievement of a milestone. For example, how the project resources are being utilized.
As a tool, Sinnaps can track the key performance indicators in real-time thereby assuring you of continuous project evaluation.
Milestones Project Management
Milestones Project Management is embraced by project managers globally to monitor the progress of their projects. It offers you an approach for transforming the tasks from a schedule into an achievable milestone.
Again, milestones Project Management assists the process of updating the status of the project as each milestone is achieved. The use of a Project Management tool like Sinnaps helps in achieving effective milestones Project Management.
How to create milestone Project Management on Sinnaps
- Log in and access the Sinnaps app from the navigation menu bar
- Create a new project
- Click the “Create Milestone” button
- Then enter the title of the milestone
- Assign an individual to the milestone
- Input the description and status of the milestone
- Then click on “Create”
- You can create multiple milestones with the steps above.
- You can add to the existing tasks by clicking on the “Add Existing task” button. Furthermore, new tasks can be added by clicking on the “Create button”
- You can update the start and end dates of the milestone by editing the tasks end date to change the milestone end date. The start date of the milestone is the date of the earliest task. The end date of the milestone is usually the end of the longest time of the task.
Project milestones examples
The following are the examples of the milestone in Project Management that you should include in your project plan;
- Start and end dates for project stages; these are important because the team can deduce when it will take them to achieve their milestones.
- Key deliveries: this addresses the nature of work that is expected to be delivered to the client.
- Client and stakeholder approvals: in this, both client and stakeholders agree on the milestones that will be achieved in a project.
- Important meetings and presentation: here, the team pinpoints the meetings and presentations that aid them in achieving the set milestones.
- Key dates that can impact your timeline: this will highlight the key dates of events that could affect the outcome of the project thereby enabling the team members to keep an eye on them.
Furthermore, a project timeline with milestones is a template that allows you to list out your project milestones and visually map them in a timeline diagram for the use of the team.
In some instances, people do often misconstrue milestones and deliverables to be the same, however, they are different. In project milestones and deliverable example, a milestone is a signal for attaining a key stage in a project while a deliverable is a signal for the completion of a project stage. In some cases, deliverables can coincide with a milestone in terms of delivery to the client.
The key project milestones are phases, communication, decisions, planning, design, resources, processes, deliverables, integration, environment, training, objectives, and goals.
Gantt chart is a tool used by project managers to manage the activities of their project. It allows them to gain insight into their project from a glance. Milestone chart in Project Management improves the operational efficiency of the team by viewing the milestones that they are expected to deliver in their projects.
The use of Gantt chart milestones enables you to see the important dates of your project and keep the project on track.
How to create milestones with the Gantt chart
- Step 1: create a simple list of tasks with identified milestones: the task list should have a start and end dates.
- Step 2: create the table for the Gantt chart: this entails converting the task list and dates into a table for the Gantt chart. Also, you are required to calculate the length of each task and pinpoint the tasks that are milestones.
- Step 3: create the graph: here, you are required to choose the entire table for the graph and insert a Bar chart.
- Step 4: Format the chart: in this, the chart title can be removed or edited to indicate the project name.
Software project milestone
The software development project is carried out by teams to develop new software. There are important software project milestones that the software development team must aim to achieve in the course of their activities which are requirements gathering, validation of the requirement expectations, redevelopment planning, implementation, quality assurance testing, user acceptance testing, deployment, and support. These software project milestones will help minimize the risk involved in the project.
The project milestone schedule must be managed properly because it estimates the timeline for the lifecycle of the project. It includes all project activities and steps at different intervals required to execute a project.
Also, the role of project milestone tracking cannot be under-estimated; it is the process of tracking and monitoring every milestone in a project. It keeps the team members on their toes and thus boosting their productivity.
Sinnaps can be embraced for tracking the milestone of your project because it is effective for tracking every project activity thereby helping you and your team to meet the project deadline.