You know the drill – you get a new project, you prepare for kickoff, you draft a project schedule, put together a budget and resource plan, kickoff the project with the customer and then start managing the project and all it’s tasks (and your team working those tasks) for the next 6 months, 12 months or however long your project runs. What if it could be easier? What if you could more successfully manage portions of the project rather than always having to look at the big project picture? Well, you can…sort of. But you may already be doing that – knowingly or unknowingly with project milestones.
Project milestones are events that get special focus during a project. One project can have several milestones – whatever you want or need to define…it’s up to you. The key is, you can use milestones to actually break that project up into basically “mini-projects” that contain a group of tasks focused on accomplishing whatever that milestone represents. Going through requirements definition? That’s a significant process. Make the completion of the process of defining, documenting and signing off on requirements a milestone. That signoff – a very key project event – is, indeed, the milestone.
And testing. For many, user acceptance testing (UAT) is a dreaded event. Not because you can’t do it, but because project customers often lack the technical skills to pull off the preparation and execution of UAT successfully. But successful completion and signoff of UAT is a major accomplishment. Make that a milestone. You can see where strategic placement of these major milestones throughout the project will actually create smaller, “mini-projects” that are easier to manage and allow you to not always have to look at the big picture.
Learn as much as you can about setting project milestones and saving your project.