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Topics: Organizational Project Management, Schedule Management, Scheduling, Using PMI Standards
Milestone completion status
Network:23



Can a milestone be considered complete even if a single activity (from a series of activities) leading to it is not completed? I was told by a colleague that it is possible to have a milestone considered as complete even though the activities leading to it are missed. I haven't come across such a situation but would appreciate your views on it.
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Network:2419



Milestones can be used in different ways. In the more [seemingly] traditional way, a milestone is based on a culmination of events or activities to meet a deadline or show the progress of the project. For example, if you have a summary task in MSP, completion of all tasks under the summary task would be a milestone. In this case, yes, all items should be completed in order to achieve that milestone. Like running a race, the milestone of finishing only occurs once you cross the finish line, not stopping before.

They also can be used like a checkpoint, to highlight important dates for reviews or other important meetings.
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2 replies by Shrinath Iyengar
Aug 05, 2018 10:30 AM
Shrinath Iyengar
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Thank you Andrew for your reply. I completely agree with you and hold the same view. But for a colleague to say that its quite okay for a milestone status to be considered as complete although one of the activities leading to the milestone is incomplete, is quite strange. Thanks once again.
Aug 05, 2018 10:31 AM
Shrinath Iyengar
...
Thank you Andrew for your reply. I completely agree with you and hold the same view. But for a colleague to say that its quite okay for a milestone status to be considered as complete although one of the activities leading to the milestone is incomplete, is quite strange. Thanks once again.
Network:23



Aug 05, 2018 9:48 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Milestones can be used in different ways. In the more [seemingly] traditional way, a milestone is based on a culmination of events or activities to meet a deadline or show the progress of the project. For example, if you have a summary task in MSP, completion of all tasks under the summary task would be a milestone. In this case, yes, all items should be completed in order to achieve that milestone. Like running a race, the milestone of finishing only occurs once you cross the finish line, not stopping before.

They also can be used like a checkpoint, to highlight important dates for reviews or other important meetings.
Thank you Andrew for your reply. I completely agree with you and hold the same view. But for a colleague to say that its quite okay for a milestone status to be considered as complete although one of the activities leading to the milestone is incomplete, is quite strange. Thanks once again.
Network:23



Aug 05, 2018 9:48 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Milestones can be used in different ways. In the more [seemingly] traditional way, a milestone is based on a culmination of events or activities to meet a deadline or show the progress of the project. For example, if you have a summary task in MSP, completion of all tasks under the summary task would be a milestone. In this case, yes, all items should be completed in order to achieve that milestone. Like running a race, the milestone of finishing only occurs once you cross the finish line, not stopping before.

They also can be used like a checkpoint, to highlight important dates for reviews or other important meetings.
Thank you Andrew for your reply. I completely agree with you and hold the same view. But for a colleague to say that its quite okay for a milestone status to be considered as complete although one of the activities leading to the milestone is incomplete, is quite strange. Thanks once again.
Network:2032



Very good explanation Andrew. I totally agree with you.

When I use milestones it marks the completion off all tasks and I make that clear in the milestone.
Network:1921



Milestones have no duration then there is nothing to complete, they are not activities. In project management is defined by the PMI as "A significant point or event in a project, program, or portfolio". There is a way to control and visualizing a schedule which is known as "milestone schedule" which is a representation of milestones with planned dates.Taking this way of thinking then you have to consider the general definition of milestones (not related to project mangement) that states a milestone is something to indicate distance from a giving point then you have to "walk" from that giving point to reach the milestone.
Network:1673



Shrinath -

We have to remember that our plans are just that - plans.

So long as the acceptance criteria for a milestone have been, there could be a myriad of reasons why one of the activities which was expected to have been completed to achieve the milestone was not.

For example, you could have a deliverable which was expected to go through two review cycles prior to signoff and acceptance. The milestone for the successful acceptance of that deliverable might be complete, but if the delivery team had done a good job of producing the deliverable only a single review cycle might have been required, so the activities related to the second review weren't completed.

Kiron
Network:671



Agreed all!! Milestone is an event point with zero duration. It identifies in project charter as high level then updates after planning to make approved schedule baseline. And it will be mandatory or optional.
Network:16164



Yes because not all milestones requires the completion of all tasks, ie. non-critical tasks get dropped, ignored, reduce importance etc.

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