A Milestone is the achievement of a significant step in the project, usually the completion or acceptance of an important deliverable. It is an event that receives special attention. It is often put at the end of a stage to mark the completion of a work package or phase. It can add significant value to a schedule and it helps managers to easily and accurately ascertain whether or not the project is on schedule.
Milestones may be added to the project by the project sponsor or by the project team through the planning phase of the project. While a summary of project milestones should be included in the project charter and scope statement.
There are two most common ways of using milestones which are
- Create it as a single-day task to use as marker, indicating that a certain objective is achieved
- Create it as a parent task, containing all other sub-tasks, needed to complete a certain objective.
The Milestone List – The milestone list is a basic table of the milestone descriptions, planned completion dates, whether they’re mandatory or optional milestones, and how the completion of the milestone will be verified. This document provides an easy reference to all stakeholders on what milestones are included in the project and when they will occur. Like all project documentation, any proposed changes must be subject to the project’s change management process and communicated to all stakeholders. Since milestones are significant events and can impact the project in many ways, changes often require approval from the stakeholder. A sample list is listed below
Milestones when combined with a scheduling methodology like Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) or the Critical Path Method (CPM), milestones allow project management to much more accurately determine whether or not the project is on schedule.