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Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in PM 101, Project Management | 3 comments

Project Management 101: What are Milestones?

In a reference to Project Management, a milestone is a special event that requires special attention. Milestones can add significant value to project scheduling. They help project managers to more accurately determine whether or not the project is on schedule.
Setting up a milestone
There are two most common ways of using milestones:

  1. Create it as a single-day task to be used as marker on the project schedule, indicating that a certain objective is achieved;
  2. Create it as a parent task, containing all other sub-tasks, which are required to complete a certain objective.

We recommend to use the 2nd method, because it allows you to better control your schedule and see what is left to be done in order to complete your milestone.
For example, if you’re rolling out a new web-site, you might have three major milestones:

  • Create new design;
  • Migrate content to the new design;
  • Publish new web-site.

Then when you add all the required tasks to the corresponding milestones, your project schedule might look like this:
Milestones on the Gantt Chart
Later, it’ll be easy for you to check the status of your project progress by running the Milestone report.
Project milestone report

Additional information is available in our Online Help:
Project Management Online Help – Easy Projects

Questions? Ask away using the comments section below.

This post is a part of our on-going Project Management 101 series.

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  • John

    This is complete garbage. This is an activity. A milestone is a task of zero duration which denotes a key point in time on a project usually the beginning of or end of a larger activity to measure progress.
    Milestones are used in tracking to illustrate whther a project is on track overall despite the fact that some individual tasks may be moving off baseline.

    • Vadim Katcherovski

      John, thank you for your feedback. I agree that using zero-duration tasks is one way to define and handle milestones, but it’s not the only way to do it. Different methodologies offer different practices. I don’t think any single way is the best or the only “correct” one.

  • Joel Wapele

    Thanks! I need this for my major project that will due soon..Cheers.

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