Your goal for each project is to bring that project in on time and under budget. You wouldn’t want to simply outline the tasks that need to be completed within a project schedule and hope for the best. You would want to highlight points throughout the project that mark progress achieved and keep you focused on the task at hand. The use of integral management devices such as milestones allow for you to keep a close measure on the progress of your project and ensure that you are on the path to successful completion.
Milestones act as checkpoints in your project, serving as the green light to give you the go ahead for progressing forward. Milestones are characterized as having a fixed date, but a zero-day duration, and represent key occurrences like deadlines, due dates, budget reviews, or inspections. Additionally, milestones can serve as representations of the start/end of a significant phase of the project at hand, providing further visibility for your project team regarding project completion.
Some things to take into consideration when determining what events will serve as milestones in your project schedules include –
- Consider if this is a milestone or a schedule task. Does it address a task that needs a resource assigned and time allocated to complete? If yes, is this a high-priority task? Or does it measure the meeting of a project goal rather than the completion of a task?
- Is this a decision or event that is significant to the timely completion of the project? Would this impede the forward movement of the project if not completed on time?
- Would the client or investor need to be notified of the outcome?
Because milestones are such an important part of successful project planning and management, most project scheduling programs account for their presence, particularly in the Gantt Chart of your project schedule. In ConstructionOnline, milestones are denoted as green diamond icons throughout the schedule and can serve as predecessors for subsequent tasks, allowing for the scheduling program to automatically support the interconnectedness of milestones to successful project completion.
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