What are milestone checks in projects?
Also known as project milestone checks, they are meetings where the group comes together to track the project progress. They also serve as visual references to break the project into manageable chunks to make it less overwhelming.
Despite its importance in project work assignments like Final Year Projects (FYP), many of us don’t know how to set realistic milestone checks and carry them out. What are some tips for having a successful milestone check?
Set a Realistic Date
Make sure to always set a realistic date for your milestone checks. Milestone checks allow you and your group to ensure that the project is progressing and that the tasks assigned are completed.
If you don’t set a realistic date to allow your group members to complete their assigned tasks, then there is no point in having the milestone check since the tasks are incomplete, and there is no progression.
Keep Goals Specific
For every milestone check, there is a goal that your group needs to work towards. These goals need to be specific and achievable. Otherwise, it would cause confusion and would be difficult for your group to work towards.
Instead, I highly recommend using the SMART goals template for goal setting for your milestone checks.
Always be flexible, especially when planning or holding milestone checks. After all, there are times when things don’t go the way you planned. This is why you need to adapt to the situation and if you need to change your plans, change them!
For example, if the group needs more time before the next milestone check since you had many submissions during that week, give them more time and move the milestone check to a later date.
By doing this, you allow your group members to feel less stressed, and they’re able to do a better job. There’ll also be less tension in the group, leading to a better group project experience.
Communicate With All Teams
Many projects require you to work with external partners, especially if you are working on a client project. So you must communicate with them. This is to keep them updated constantly and aware of your progress.
This is especially important if you have an upcoming consultation session with them. When you communicate with these parties and update them on your progress, you give them a bigger picture of your project so they can answer your questions and queries better.
Track Your Milestone Checks
Tracking your milestone checks not only allows you to track your project’s progress, it lets you document information and details that you can refer to in the future. This can be extremely useful in your project presentation since you must explain your project details.
I highly recommend using Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to record the details and information from the milestone check. It is more comprehensive and can be shared with your group mates. Make sure to include details like:
1. What was achieved
2. Date and time
3. Tasks completed
4. Tasks to be done
5. Task assignment
6. How much progress was made
Ensuring that your milestone checks are successful is important since it affects your progress in your project. It may be tricky, especially if it’s your first time arranging and holding a milestone check.
Once you practise and use these milestone checks in your group projects or even in your individual assignments, you’ll have a useful skill that you can utilise even when you step out into the workforce.
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