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Project Management>Project Milestones

Once the project has been mapped out and a project plan drafted (usually a project Gantt chart or spreadsheet) the focus should be on achieving results.

Milestones are used to measure the progress of a project and are set at key points during the projectís lifecycle.

Particularly in the case of lengthy projects, the final delivery end product may seem a long way off and to ensure that momentum is maintained it is best to define immediate targets, such as milestones to check progress at various stages in the projectís lifecycle.

Defining milestones provides the following benefits:

  • A measure of progress to date
  • Provides details to communicate to people inside and outside the project team
  • Focuses attention on project results (there could be a lack of urgency otherwise)
  • Manageable stages of work

To identify the milestones you start at the end of the project (the final deliverable) and work backwards to identify all the major points, which the project passes through. For example this can be the end of each of the phases in the project plan, when a major decision needs to be taken or when a document needs to be accepted.

The number of milestones will vary depending on the size of your project and the key stages.  The milestones, are a general guideline for a timetable to accomplish the work or phase and to provide feedback on the progress.  They are a good indicator of the project's progress.

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