What is a Milestone Plan and what elements does it contain?
The arrangement of milestones in projects
Milestones define and structure projects. A milestone plan is a frequently used tool in project management and displays the milestones of one or more projects in chronological order. Its clear visualisation makes it easy to understand and highlights events of particular significance. In the course of a milestone trend analysis, it enables the monitoring of project progress and the early detection of deadline delays.
Milestones and milestone plans also play an important role in multi-project management. The results of one project are often used in another; planning takes place via published milestones (imported into a project plan when using project management software). A postponement of such a publicly published milestone can therefore have an impact on another project. Communication and content coordination between the project participants are important here.
Elements of the milestone plan
A milestone plan often contains the following elements:
- project with start date
- milestones as events of special importance for the project
- quality gates for the release of the subsequent project phase or as phase closure
- Indicator when a milestone is used in another project
- flag if a milestone originates from another project
- planned end of project
In summary, the milestone plan focuses on important and time-critical aspects of a project. It is easier to understand than a project structure plan with its many details or a project plan with all phases and numerous activities. With the visualisation of important milestones, it is a popular tool in project management.