Project managers often set milestones to help their team work at peak productivity. Project milestones help the team recognize and work toward specific goals. Used in every project phase, these milestones allow the group to understand what tasks will lead them in the right direction to achieve these standards.
These milestones don’t always have to be monumental goals that cause the team to agonize over whether or not they’ll be able to reach it in time. As a matter of fact, the less the dramatic the milestone the better. These basic goals will help the project to move along at a decent pace and prevent stress.
Numerous industries use project managers to achieve the highest level of success with each of their projects. Some of the most common that use project management services include:
- Financial Services
While each of these industries have highly unique business needs, they all tend to have similar milestones. Here are ten project milestone examples you will likely find in any industry you work in as a project manager.
Prior to starting the design process, clients will need to be aware of the proper expectations for the projected number of revisions and hours it will take. With a simple explanation of what is being done and why it is being done, they will feel more confident as each step is completed. Keeping stakeholders involved from the beginning will make it easier to get feedback throughout the process and reach the approval milestone much more quickly.
Once the project design has been approved, it is time to determine the amount of funding needed. Funding requirements are typically identified in the cost baseline and are split up between the multiple phases of the project. The funding sources should be identified and milestones can be set to recognize when the team reaches specific funding goals.
Hiring Individual Positions
An important project milestone example is hiring individuals for key roles. Searching for and finding the right personnel for the project is an exciting step that leads into new phases of the project. Identifying the staffing needs, asking the right interview questions, and setting milestones for each of those openings will be a motivating way to track the hiring progress.
Just about every project in any industry will require external vendors, prompting the need for extensive market research and analysis to find the best fits. Once the needs have been identified, proposal requests are sent out to multiple vendors listing the executive summary, requirements, and proof of concept. As responses are received and evaluated, milestones can be marked off for each vendor spot that is filled.
A communication plan should be put together as one of the initial pieces of a project, keeping the stakeholders up-to-date throughout the process. Standards will need to be set for timeframes when the clients will be notified of the project timelines, budget updates, and upcoming needs. Setting milestones for these communications will open the way for feedback during the project and prevent unnecessary issues from occurring.
Reaching Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable goals that can assist in monitoring a project’s overall performance. As a common project milestone example, they can include things like actual project cost, return on investment (ROI), resource utilization, and more. Each of these metrics must be actionable and straightforward, with a way to measure its success.
Release of Product Samples
For the projects that involve the creation of a tangible product, prototypes or samples will need to be made in order to test it and obtain reviews from stakeholders and other clients. They’ll be able to identify flaws in the manufacturing or other problems that may not be immediately apparent. Determining a milestone for when a sample can be released will provide a goal to strive for once the design process has been finished.
Similar to sample products, construction and engineering projects will need to go through testing and evaluation phases. This is the time when all of the systems are checked, such as the electrical, IT, and security. A single milestone can be set with multiple tasks for each test, or milestones can be chosen to separate the process for all of the individual systems.
As issues are found during the prototype and testing phases, new project milestones can be scheduled to make adjustments or repair any defects. Deficiencies may be identified in the design, materials, or the workmanship. Though patent defects can be found through reasonable inspection, there can also be latent defects, which may not be discovered until years after the project’s completion.
Probably the most obvious project milestone example on this list is the overall completion and approval from the stakeholders. After all of the communication updates have been sent, the testing phases have been completed, and the defects have been fixed, the final approval with mark the end of the project. At this time vendor contracts will be closed, a project completion report will be produced, and the project team will be released.
Use These Project Milestone Examples in Toggl Plan
Toggl Plan’s project management app makes it easy apply these project milestone examples to your own team goals. Putting their project planning and task management software to use will make it easier to track your team’s progress and manage timelines.
Logan Derrick is a full-time business writer and content marketing strategist. For years, he has worked closely with several project management professionals, learning from them and increasing his own knowledge of the industry. Having held multiple management positions in fields ranging from customer service to marketing, Logan has found a passion for helping others learn about project management, marketing, and the powerful tools available to professionals today.