How to Prevent Your Milestones From Getting Lost
The completion of a milestone in MS Project should be clearly visible and not become lost among the tasks on the schedule. One problem with milestones is that once created they are as immobile as their concrete counterparts without the project manager inputting additional information about their completion. The question for project managers is how to best fill in MS Project milestones upon completion. MS Project 2007 offers three basic options to update milestones with durations:
Method 1 (Update the Milestone Directly for the Current or Status Date)
1. Double click the milestone's name in the Gantt Chart View.
2. Choose the tab labeled General.
3. Select the completion rate and fill in 100 percent.
Method 2 (Update a Milestone by a Specific Date)
1. Click on the Milestone from the Gantt Chart Tools View.
2. On the Tools menu, point to Tracking, and then click Update Project.
3. Click update work as complete through, and then type or select the progress date. (The default will be the current date.)
4. Fill in 100 percent for the completion rate.
Method 3 (Update Milestone With the Scheduled Completion Option)
1. Select the Gantt Chart View.
2. Choose the Update as Scheduled on the Tracking Toolbar.
3. Fill in 100 percent for the completion rate.
MS Project 2010 has streamlined the process by making the selection of milestones and assignment of completion rates simple with options directly on the Task toolbar to insert milestones and completion percentages from 0 to 100 percent in 25 percent increments. Also MS Project 2010 has a feature called Mark on Track to update the completion rate of milestones immediately to show that they continue to be on track for the scheduled completion date. For any of the methods outlined above, confirmation that a milestone has been filled in upon completion will appear as a check mark on the first column in the Gantt chart, reassuring the project manager that an important milestone has not been overlooked.