| Milestones | Deadlines | Deliverables | |
A milestone is a major event or activity in a project and it indicates the phase completion or major deliverables or any significant achievement of your project during the execution of the project.
In project plan, any task with zero duration is called as a milestone. i.e. Start date and finish dates are the same for milestone tasks.
However, a milestone does not have to have zero duration. . For example, you have a task called “Stage 2 funding approval”. Typically this task may need few days duration. Still you want to treat as milestone. MS Project will give the ability us to mark the tasks as milestones explicitly.
MS Project displays the milestones with diamond symbol in the Gantt chart view.
1) Steps to mark the tasks as milestones with zero duration:
- Enter/Select the task that you want to become a milestone
- Type 0 in duration column and press enter
2) Steps to mark the tasks with duration as milestone:
- Select the task you want to become a milestone
- Project menu -> Task information
- Click on Advanced tab -> Select the “Mark task as milestone”
- Click OK
Please see my Gantt chart now. The interesting thing is here, Gantt chart marked the milestone date on 1/14.
“Business Board Review” is a three day duration task and end date of the task is 1/16. So, we expect to see milestone marker on 1/16 date frame.
The default style drawing of the Gantt bar is “From Start to Start”. Based on this setting, milestone markers are always set to appear on their start date of the task. In above scenario, 1/14 is the start date, so the milestone has been marked on 1/14 on time scale.
To resolve this issue, you have to the set the Gantt bar style as “Finish to Finish. By doing this 1/16 will be shown as milestone date in the above scenario.
Showing the Finish date as Milestone marker on Gantt:
On the Format Menu -> Bar Styles -> On Milestone row, set Finish under "From" -> Finish under "To" -> Click OK
By making the above settings, milestone marker will move to task end date on time scale.
Show the entire duration of the milestone on Gantt Chart
If you want to Show the entire duration of the milestone on Gantt Chart, we have to set the Gantt bar style to show the duration, with milestone date (finish date) at the end of the bar.
- On the Format Menu -> Bar Styles
- On Milestone row -> Click on Appearance cell -> Choose Shape; Pattern; Color of your choice for Middle and End Tabs-> Click OK (See my settings below on fig.)
- On Milestone row -> set Finish under From -> Finish under To -> Click OK
The above settings, reformat the Gantt chart to show the entire milestone duration.