Your projects are becoming more and more complex, and you lack the necessary overview of individual sub-topics and goals? We have a solution for you: working with a milestone plan! In this article, you will learn why using a milestone plan makes your team more successful and productive and how to use it optimally for your projects.
What is a milestone plan?
Milestones make up an important part of project management. They form defined events in project phases and help break down the big picture into smaller sub-goals. They also ensure that all requirements defined in the project plan are met. Milestones are summarized in a milestone plan, which consists of a project with a defined start date and, if applicable, a deadline.
Want an example? Imagine your team is working on a campaign plan using milestones. Here could be your milestones:
- Target audience identified
- channels selected
- test run conducted, and so on
Each individual milestone here marks a small sub-goal within the campaign planning that you want to achieve.
What effect does the use of a milestone plan have?
- A milestone plan provides project structure. It allows for verifiable and detailed interim goals to be set, which all team members can view at any time. This also provides the opportunity to keep your team focused on the next goal. A milestone plan helps you to design a structured project plan and makes important events more transparent for your team.
- Milestones as milestones: Whether your project is small or large, using milestones in a milestone plan creates a clear overview of all the important subgoals of a project. They are milestones that take you and your team further towards your goal, piece by piece. And, of course, you can't miss the fun factor: You always have a reason to rejoice when another section of the milestone plan is completed! 🥳
- Milestone plans increase productivity: did you know that a milestone plan can make your team more productive? Pre-determined checkpoints motivate everyone involved in a project. By giving the team a clear goal to work towards, the meaning behind individual tasks is immediately apparent - creating incentives to complete tasks. It's even nicer when your team has reached a milestone together, and you can thus successfully conclude a project phase.
- Milestones give you control: If you use milestones correctly, it gives a clear overview of when sub-goals within a project have to be achieved. The milestone plan gives you the necessary control to thoroughly check all targets. Your team can use it as a guideline at any time and work towards it with determination.
How do I implement the work with a milestone plan?
You can use your plan in different ways:
- For example, you can guide the progress of your project by setting milestones for intermediate results or marking an important release as a milestone.
- Alternatively, you can determine the end of a project phase by using milestones as clear deadlines. The definition of milestones depends on the project.
It's best to begin by defining in the team how you will handle milestones: What happens if deadlines are exceeded? Which intermediate results should be marked as milestones and reviewed together?
Use milestone plans in awork
If you want to create handy milestone schedules for your project, the best way is to use a smart project management tool like awork.
- The timeline allows you to create one or more milestones for your project.
- To do this, simply click on your desired date in the timeline and specify details such as name, date, etc., in the pop-up.
- This way, you can always see when your project is approaching a milestone.
awork offers you customizable possibilities in designing your milestone plans. You can make changes at any time if a deadline has not been met or you have exceeded the time budget - it doesn't get more flexible than that!
Milestone plan and Gantt charts
Do you work with Gantt charts on your projects? You can combine this method of visual time planning with milestones in awork. A Gantt Chart in awork not only shows you the timeline of the project but also displays the milestones you have planned.
A milestone plan simplifies your project management and reduces the complexity of your project enormously. The individual milestones bring your team step by step to the desired goal by representing milestones. With a smart project management tool like awork, you can set the respective milestones for your projects and always keep an eye on your project progress, thanks to small milestones in the milestone plan.