Defining Project Milestones: How it Helps with Project Management
When you are handling a project, you must know what it takes to effectively manage the development of your project. Learn how to present status reports, get tools that help with monitoring progression, identify risks early, recognize stakeholders, and a lot more. It is important that you have the knowledge and skills to be a manager so you can greatly contribute to the project’s success.
Creating project milestones and control points is another important role of a manager. This helps with monitoring the progress effectively with a construction project. There may be a difference between project milestones and control points, but both complement each other. A project milestone is one that has already been achieved, while a control point is the foundation of a construction site. However, in this article, you will learn first about project milestones.
Identifying Project Milestones
Project milestones serve as markers every time a specific phase of the project has been completed. This will help you and your team to identify the status of your current progress. It basically serves as a checklist for the major tasks that need to be done, helping you better with project management.
Milestones describe an important event in the timeline of the project. Each milestone marks a successful part of the progression. Every milestone accomplishment can be considered a “small win” and shows that the project is advancing.
Importance of Project Milestones on Project Management
Project management is the most crucial part when handling projects. How you and your team manage and plan will determine whether the project will be a success or not. This is why you must have all the tools that help with efficiently managing projects, one of which is project milestones. Below are key points of why it is beneficial to project management.
Keeps track of the project timeline
A great project would have a planned timeline and establish dates of task deadlines right from the start. Creating project milestones throughout the duration of the project is like having a scheduling chart. It guides you and your team to progress within the expected timeline. A milestone has a deadline, so this gives a specific schedule for each task that needs to be done. This definitely helps with time management.
Provides insight into the overall progress
It is important to plan and create milestones in every phase of the project because this provides a basis for the evaluation of the overall progress. Creating milestones is like dividing the whole part into smaller pieces. This way, you would easily see the simple tasks and small achievements done by your team. Every time a milestone is complete, then you can add a point of percentage to the progress completion. This allows you to track the overall status of your project easily.
Validates the current status of the project
Completed milestones serve as evidence that the project is advancing. This helps you to have something to report to your stakeholders, teams, and clients about the accomplishments of the project.
Works on specific goals
Working on a large and lengthy project may be overwhelming. You may feel that you have a large amount of work in front of you. This is one of the ways where milestones become helpful because if you break down the tasks, and do things step by step, it will enable you and your team to work at an appropriate pace and not get overwhelmed. This decreases the stress that members feel when there is too much workload and pressure. It also ensures that the quality of their works is not compromised. Set specific goals that add up with the progress until you reach the main goal.
Offers accountability and motivate team members
Every time you create a milestone, a person or a team is assigned to lead or handle that task. When you assign them tasks or a part to manage, you add confidence to team members. Teamwork and accountability are maintained. When the time comes that a milestone is completed, the whole team also has something to celebrate. The consistent small wins will surely motivate team members.
To identify risks, issues, and problems early
Milestones are set with deadlines that were carefully planned out. So when a milestone is delayed, it may serve as an early indicator that something is wrong. You can easily look into that specific milestone and check what the issue is. This way, you can quickly report it to stakeholders, managers, and the rest of the team to plan with them how to resolve the issue and prevent further risks.
Example of a Project Milestone
Project milestones are often used for projects that have a long-term duration, such as building construction. This kind of project would definitely take a duration of at least a couple of months to a few years before completion. Because of this, it is very important to create milestones so that the teams involved will be able to consistently keep track of the latest progress. Here are various example of milestones for a building construction project:
- Collection of funds
- Appointing stakeholders
- Approval of building design
- Selection of site location
- Assigning a contractor
- Approval of contracts
- Designating teams
- Assigning of tasks
- Starting with the construction
- Launching marketing ads
Creating a milestone for each phase of the project gives guidance on what tasks to manage and what areas to focus on. Afterward, achieving that milestone provides a basis for how far the progress is. Making project milestones may be challenging, but you do not have to worry, because at this time, this task can be easy as a data entry task. There are various software tools on the internet that can provide you with a free template and an automatic Gantt chart setup. The only thing left for you to do is to click and insert the data of your project.