Milestone (project management)

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A milestone ( English milestone , colloquially Markstein ) is an event of particular importance in project management . Milestones divide the course of the project into stages with verifiable interim goals and thus facilitate both project planning and the control of project progress.

Such events are in particular:

  • Decisions about the further progress of the project.
  • The presence of delivery items (Engl. Deliverables ) or intermediate results.
  • Acceptance, interim acceptance and reviews (reviews) .
  • Merging or branching project paths

Milestones mark the beginning of a project phase, the phase release , or the end of a phase, the phase end . Milestones can also lie within a project phase.

For example, the setting of the foundations is a prerequisite for the basement walls and the completion of the basement ceiling is a milestone for the start of building construction .

Gessler and Kaestner name the benefits of milestones:

  • They reduce the risk of undesirable developments because they support the monitoring of project progress by means of project controlling .
  • They support an orderly transition between the project phases.
  • By making decisions on project completion and phase approval, they enable the client and, if necessary, the project steering committee to be continuously involved .
  • They enable the employees to be continuously goal-oriented, create a sense of achievement and synchronize collaboration. Thus, they are also a means of leadership and motivation.

They can be implemented and measured in concrete actions. For this purpose, the test criteria must be defined in advance - otherwise the test would not be objective, but arbitrary. The criteria are often stored in the form of checklists or forms. Milestones are formulated realistically and can be achieved through project work.

Milestones are specially marked in network plans and Gantt charts .

The milestone trend analysis tries to derive a forecast for the further project progress and especially for the project end date from the time shift of milestones.

Individual evidence

  1. DIN 69901-5
  2. a b c Gessler, Michael; Kaestner, Rolf: Project phases . In: German Society for Project Management ; Gessler, Michael (ed.): Competence-based project management . 4th edition. tape 1 . German Society for Project Management, Nuremberg 2011, ISBN 978-3-924841-40-9 , p. 351 .
  3. a b Gessler; Kaestner; P. 353.