What is a Project Milestone?

Difference between a Milestone and a Task

Construction experts in the industry use the Project plan as maps to chart their course of action when executing projects. Creating a plan helps professionals to layout tasks, task initiators, and the resources required to perform them. However, one very important component of a project plan is a project Milestone.

What is a Project Milestone?

A milestone refers to a marker that signifies a stage in the development phase or even completion of that phase. Milestones are very powerful statements of facts and data that tell a story about key events and the progress of a plan. Consider milestones to be signposts that keep you and everyone involved on track. With Milestones, you can monitor progress and evaluate performance at the start and end of every phase.

They tell the complete story

Milestone not only provides evidence of work done or undone, but they can also be relied upon as a communication tool. A very good milestone reveals to even a layman, the state of work and what is left to be done. Project managers use them to review the past and to chart the course of the future.

Difference between a Project Milestone and a Task

Is a task the same thing as a milestone? If not, what is the difference? There is a difference that new students of project management may have a difficult problem identifying. To avoid confusion, you will need to ask the following questions. Providing answers to these questions will help you identify milestones from among a set of tasks.  Here are the questions you need to ask.

  • Is this a deliverable or a task?
  • Will the completion of this work have an impact on the final deadline of the project?
  • Does this stage indicate a shift in progress moving forward?
  • Do stakeholders need to review work at this stage?
  • Does this event impact the project one way or another?

The answers to these questions will help you spot the difference. Essentially, milestones are an indication of a marked shift in the direction of the project. They indicate a great leap forward in terms of project completion. Milestones are significant because they help managers track tasks in each phase and focus on future progress in the same vein.


Milestones in Critical Path method

In Critical Path, some tasks rely on each other to be complete before the next steps can proceed. When there is a large number of tasks, Critical Path is used to identify the most critical components to complete, for the project to be successful. When tasks in the Critical Path are complete, this can be considered a Milestone since other tasks can now proceed.

What are some examples of milestones you’ve used on your construction projects? Let us know in the comments section below!

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