Milestones Ideas & Examples
Project management milestones ideas and examples.
- Major Milestones for Software Projects
- Minor Milestones for a Software Project
How to Classify Typical Milestones
Typical milestones in project planning are often tied to a quantitative measurement, an internal or external deliverable, or a significant turning point or transition in the project.
To determine which milestones are right for your project select ones that will give you regular feedback about the progress of your project, give team members a boost in morale, and align with the critical path of your project. Milestones can be grouped under several classifications that serve these distinct purposes.
Phase transitions are probably the best known milestones. They are typically used for projects that concentrate on developing or expanding a product or service. The exact process will vary from designer to designer, but the method can divided into six basic stages: information gathering, or marketing research, planning, design, development, testing, and delivery.
Rates of Completion
Rates of Completion are commonly used milestones when the project involves repetition without sequential advancement to the next stage. A good example is a training exercise in which milestones are set for the percentage of employees fully trained or certified, e.g., 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent. The incremental benefits of having a certain level of employees certified is a good choice for a milestone.
Performance recognition milestones are achievements that are not directly connected to the advancement of the project, but recognize the quality of the work performed. For example, in the construction of a plant, a typical milestone would be to recognize periodically that employees have logged in a certain number of work hours without a single safety incident.
Completion of a deliverable
Completion of a deliverable is by far the most popular choice for a milestone because it represents tangible evidence of progress towards the project's goals.
Achievement of an outcome
Achievement of an outcome can be useful for value based consulting, joint partnerships, and profit sharing projects. An represents measurable evidence of success towards the project's goals.
Major Milestones for Software Projects
Major milestones give visibly or progress to people external to the project. For example, project sponsors and customers. The list below provides a set of classical major software project milestones together with their milestone goals.
Feasibility studies and basic system concepts have been approved by management and the project is authorized to proceed to detailed requirements definition.
Requirements specifications are complete, correct, approved and suitable for input to design.
Preliminary design review
The architectural design satisfies all product requirements, is approved and is suitable for input into the detailed design process.
Critical design review
Detailed designs fully implement the system architecture, are approved and are suitable for input into the development of code.
Test plan review
Test plans are adequate for the testing of all product features, are approved and are suitable for input to the development of test cases and test procedures.
Test readiness review
Developed and unit tested software has been passed by the test team and is suitable for input into integration testing.
System test review
The software product has passed system testing and is suitable for input into acceptance testing.
Operational readiness review
The software product has passed acceptance testing and is suitable for deployment in its target production environment.
The software is in use in its target operational environment.
Minor Milestones for a Software Project
Minor milestones are the monitoring points you as project manager use to maintain control of day to day activities. They divide the elapsed time between major milestones into shorter intervals to give you the confidence that the major milestones will be met. They also give the team a sense of achievement by demonstrating progress on a daily or weekly basis. The list below provides examples.
Document outline complete
A document outline has been produced describing the format, content and objectives of each major section of a large document.
A document such as an Software Requirements Specification has passed peer review.
Technical investigation complete
The investigation of a technical issue is complete and a summary of the main issues and conclusions has been presented and approved.
A program compiles without errors.
Software module complete
A small program or function has been completed and unit tested.
Software product build complete
The software product (or one of its components) has been built an it runs (not necessarily without errors).
Test case complete
A small unit of testing has been completed and test results recorded.
Bug fix complete
A bug identified in a Software Anomaly Report (SAR) has been fixed and the SAR closed out.