Defining Project Milestones

Milestones deserve special mention. A milestone is a significant event in a project, usually associated with a major work product or deliverable. They mark passage points in the journey toward completion, and every project should have enough of them, spread evenly throughout the schedule so that it is easy to measure achievement toward the final goal. With too few, you get the "big bang" project, where no one really knows until the very end if the project is on schedule. But too many can bog down the project's pace. An even spacing on a schedule calendar is desirable. Milestones have zero duration. They only mark a point in time when something important has been completed. They can be defined for the end of one or more activities, or for a work product or deliverable, or for a designated group of these. It is best to use language that indicates completion, such as "Done" or "Complete." In the C compiler example of Figure 8-5, the milestone for item 1.0 would be "Software for C Compiler Completed."

Stages or phases are not milestones but are collections of related product activities. However, milestones can be used to mark a stage or phase completion, as illustrated in Figure 8-7.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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