Tracking project milestones

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Setting milestones is often a challenge for even seasoned project managers - especially when it comes to complex projects. Are there any proven strategies to set project milestones and achieve them successfully?
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Hi Punyapalit,

I like Chris LeCompte's approach to milestones, where he breaks down the project into three phases:
  1. The Pre-Heavy Lifting Phase Milestones
  2. The Heavy Lifting Phase Milestones
  3. The Post-Heavy Lifting Phase Milestones
You can read more about Chris's approach in the article, Planning More Effective Milestones in Web Design Projects.

It is crucial to combine your milestones with a solid timeline plan. All too often, I see timeline plans that are not realistic. They rely on every activity happening precisely on time with no slack if you encounter difficulties. Keep your timeline realistic and milestones meaningful to your customer.

As the name suggests, a milestone must be a meaningful waypoint in your project. You could also say a milestone should be a minimum viable product in its own right. It is probably not a milestone if it is not worth shouting about to your customer.

What do others think? How do you see milestones in your projects?

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