15 Examples of milestones in project management

The world of project management is full of success stories and significant breakthroughs every step of the way.

Each milestone can determine the beginning and end of a project, as well as some significant work advances in its duration.

Also, milestones will determine a specific point in the project that will significantly impact the medium and long term.

They keep your project and team on track and focused on achieving objectives. Ultimately, you can map the project’s development through this journey.

On that note, this article will tackle the concept of project milestones, their importance, and their benefits.

You’ll get the opportunity to discover a selection of 15 examples of milestones in project management and some frequently asked questions.

1. Planning

2. Funding

3. Hiring individual position

4. Training

5. Vendor contracts

6. Completing critical tasks

7. Testing stages

8. Defects fixing

9. Project approval 

10. Important meetings and presentations

11. Requirements review

12. Design approval

13. Project phase milestones

14. Reaching KPI’s

15. Final approval

What’s a milestone in project management?

Milestones stand as checkpoints on your project timeline. Through this manner, you can quickly pinpoint at which stage every project is and when you’ll be able to complete it.

A milestone in a project stands as a crucial management tool that you must use to define a specific turning point in the duration of your project.

It’s a form of schedule because, as a project manager, you can calculate efforts and timings toward the critical milestone.

The truth is that each task becomes part of various steps in each project, which means that the milestone’s job is to define the beginning and end of each step.

The project manager can now plan, schedule, and execute these steps.

What’s a milestone in project management?

What’s so essential and beneficial about project milestones?

In the context of project management, milestones equal development. But the truth is that it’s also essential to understand the importance and benefits that they have:

  • Monitoring: Through the milestones, you’ll be able to monitor each task and plan strategically; 
  • Increase performance: Milestones demonstrate some of the hardships you may face still, and with that, you’ll prioritize your effort along with your team to optimize everyone’s performance;
  • Control over timings and deadlines: With a better understanding of the milestones, timings, and deadlines, optimize each task, assigning to each member;
  • Improve team collaboration: Tasks are assigned to team members, and it’s crucial to maintain a clear line of communication. The goal is to stay effective in each task, focusing on productivity;
  • Communication with stakeholders: Milestones are the perfect proof to present to each stakeholder. That way, they will be up to date with the project’s development.

15 Examples of milestones in project management

Following, we have 15 examples of milestones in project management that can fit within your project, regardless of the industry you work in.

Your job now is to plan and define which milestones from the list could apply to your case.

Any of the following examples will help you monitor its progress, as well as increase productivity:

Examples of milestones in project management

1. Planning

When planning for your project, you must consider all the details, from milestones to meetings and deadlines.

Everything must be planned so the team can stay sharp and focus on the goals.

To help you in this stage, a project management checklist will be beneficial.

Get to know how to use a planner and how it helps you with project management.

2. Funding

Funding is vital to every project because otherwise, you don’t have the resources to carry it to the end.

With funding, you’ll get the resources you need for the tasks you require to be completed. It’s also essential that you grant funding to unexpected events to happen throughout the project.

3. Hiring individual position

For every project, there are designated positions for specifically skilled people.

As a project manager, it’s your job to find a better-qualified team and work tirelessly toward completing your project.

a man learning at work

4. Training 

After recruiting the perfect team for your project, training them with related activities is essential.

You can train them in-house or look for a specialized outsourcing company.

Read our blog to find out how time management training helps increase employee productivity.

5. Vendor contracts

There are a lot of industries that need external vendors to feed the project. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to analyze the market and find the best vendor.

After the strategic search, you can secure some proposals for the chosen vendors and mark the milestone as the vendors contact you to collaborate.

6. Completing critical tasks

Milestones are advantageous for the critical tasks that need to be prioritized and completed by your team.

Some tasks present as more challenging, meaning they will take longer to complete.

Once those critical tasks are completed, you’ve reached a checkpoint/milestone designed to demonstrate its success.

Are you struggling with priorities? Get to know the best prioritization techniques to effectively manage your team’s workload.

a team testing their design

7. Testing stages

Some planned projects need to go through a series of tests and evaluations before getting the green light.

The tests could be checking IT, electrical, and security systems. You can either draw a milestone for each test or only one for the series of conducted tests.

8. Defects fixing

Generally, after the tests, it’s only standard that some mistakes are detected.

In that case, milestones can be scheduled to repair those issues. It can happen due to the design, materials, or quality. 

9. Project approval 

After the stakeholders approve the project charter, it’s time for the project to begin.

Now that you have reunited all that you need to do, you will need to get your hands dirty and start working on the project you have planned.

If you need help in this stage, it might be a good idea to watch some of the best project management videos.

10. Important meetings and presentations

A kick-off meeting should always occur once the project is ready to start.

There, you should talk about the first steps and get to know and introduce the team. Throughout the project, many important meetings and presentations should evaluate the project’s status, what to do, and how everything is going.  

TIP: Read our article about how to lead a meeting.

11. Requirements review

This is a critical milestone to share with your stakeholders. You’ll need to bring the project plan and discuss the project’s needs along the journey. Once the stakeholder reviews and approves, you’ll finally get to work on the project.

12. Design approval

At this time, you and your team will need to draw the project design and present it to the stakeholder.

After some possible adjustments and the final approval, you’ve reached an important milestone.

13. Project phase milestones

This is called the development or testing phase. You and your team should be working together to implement all the approved elements. It usually takes a lot of time to get it right, but with the right team and tools, nothing is impossible.

project management milestones

14. Reaching KPIs

KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. These are measurable qualities that help monitor the project’s performance.

For example, they can include costs, return on investment, resource utilization and many more.

Through these indicators, as a project manager, you should be able to evaluate the project’s progress and what it needs to improve.

15. Final approval

This is the most exciting and nerve-wracking milestone of them all. Getting the final approval is not an easy task, especially when you’re running a project that has a lot of steps toward its success.

You have a finished product ready after testing and evaluation at this stage. Now it’s tricky; you need to present it to the stakeholders and await their feedback.

The fantastic news is that once you have their final approval, you have reached completion. You have officially grasped the final milestone.

How to organize a milestone list

Project: Due date:
Milestone numberMilestone descriptionMandatory / OptionalCompletion dateApproved by
Number assigned to the milestoneDescribe the milestoneChoose one of the aboveDate of the achieved milestoneWho approves it

The sample list describes how to organize them since you can have many milestones.

To keep track of their detailed indicators, it’s important to state those above to share with the stakeholders through a detailed report. In a nutshell, this sample provides an accessible document for everyone to understand perfectly. 

FAQs

How many milestones should a project have? 

There’s no specific number of milestones to have on a project. Instead of focusing on the number of milestones, you should set milestones for significant events that will take place in your project.

What’s the duration of a milestone project management?

They have zero duration because it’s considered a checkpoint or specific development throughout the project.

Conclusion

Nowadays, project management is talked about extensively because it evolved through the work of many companies to enhance productivity.

There are a lot of tools out there that help you to prioritize, monitor, and plan throughout every given project. 

Through these examples of project management milestones, you can conclude that this represents a crucial tool to develop events and tasks that are successfully completed.

It’s also essential to stay on top of things and observe all the effort assigned to your project so that you can implement it most strategically.

You should also know that milestones are not classified as work activities but as significant events that make a mark throughout your project.

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