Project Management Training – Understanding Start and Finish Milestones

EastwoodHarris_project management trajningUnderstanding Start and Finish Milestones in Project Management

A Project Milestone is created by assigning a task a zero duration:

  • A Milestone is a Start Milestone when it has no predecessors, see Task 1 below.
  • A Milestone is a Finish Milestone if it has one or more predecessors, see Task 3 and 5 below
  • A Start Milestone is at the Start of a Time Period, for example, 8:00 am, see Task 1 below.

A Finish Milestone is at the End of a Time Period, for example, 5:00 pm, see Task 3 and 5 below.

  • A task may also be made to look like a Milestone by checking the Mark as a milestone in the Task Information form General tab, see Task 2 below.
  • The Milestone may be set to display at the Start or Finish of the Tasks by editing the From and To fields of Milestones in the Bar Styles form:

Note: Unlike some other scheduling software it is not possible for the user to assign a Milestone as either a Start or Finish Mile Stone in Microsoft Project.

Converting a Finish Milestone into a Start Milestone

Sometimes it is important to have a Start Milestone with has a predecessor. For example, Task 5 in the picture below may be required on Friday morning not Thursday afternoon:

One workaround to achieve this in MS Project 2010:

  • Assign a short duration to the intended Start Milestone. The duration is not important, say I min.
  • Check the Mark as a Milestone in the General tab of the Task Information form.
  • Ensure all successors of the Start Milestone are Start to Start, otherwise all successors will span 1 day longer than their assigned duration:

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