What is a milestone?
A milestone is a significant point or event in the schedule. The purpose of these milestones is to keep everyone involved in the project aware of where they both with time and finances.
- Milestone decision points or gateways include:
- Go/No-go or proceed or not: the decision either authorizes funding for next phase or cancels the project.
- Directional guidance: decides which direction for project to proceed in based on most recent project data.
- Milestone soft target dates – Break up a long series of tasks. The soft deadline target dates help focus and motivate team efforts toward completion of a deliverable component. Team members and project manager agree on soft target dates. Soft target dates are interim evaluation points to keep the project on target. These soft deadlines support completion of major deliverable hard deadline dates.
- Milestone deliverable hard submittal dates – These are hard contractually agreed upon dates for the submittal of deliverables.
- Milestone deliveries – Constrained milestones are suitable for marking the delivery of raw materials or equipment. This is better practice than simply constraining the related successor tasks. The milestone delivery delays informs the project manager that the schedule delay is due specifically to late delivery.
- Milestone Ceremonies – Milestones generally tell you where you are going or tell you where you’ve been. Milestones at critical stages in the project are often commemorated with ceremonies. These milestone ceremonies mark the commencement or completion of major construction events, such as the commencement of onsite construction.
- Milestone project completion – The project end date is a major hard constraint date in the project. All the dependencies in the network logic come together in the milestone project completion date. Much of the project manager’s effort is towards meeting this completion milestone.