Milestones are a key part of a project manager’s arsenal, helping affirm schedule control and facilitating easier reporting to senior leaders. Typically, project managers focus on deliverable production when building milestones, which is reasonable. However, the focus on deliverable based milestones can reduce the focus on other important aspects of the project. With collaboration being a significant focus in projects – especially in a world trying to be “agile”, collaboration items not only need to be included in the milestone reporting by project managers, but they need to be KEY milestones requiring special attention, especially in the early and later stages of the project.
Why this prominence? As businesses seek to move faster and produce project results more quickly, ensuring that project teams and the clients they serve have common views becomes more important, but also more difficult. All stakeholders should be focused on creating a product that is easily and readily usable when produced by the project team. Effective and timely collaboration is critical for this to occur. Delays in achieving effective collaboration should be clearly indicated as potential delays in producing complete products, or in partial production of expected outcomes. To highlight deliverables with milestones, and not highlight collaboration tasks equally can serve to reduce the emphasis on the need for successful collaboration. In turn this may place undue and potentially risky focus on simply delivering things on time, versus delivering the RIGHT THINGS that will be usable by your clients.
Are you using the right set of milestones on your projects? Is your organisation focusing on the wrong things because of the milestones you publish and track?
Mindavation provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on communication techniques, including the use of milestones, and has been doing so for over 13 years. For further information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> . You can learn about all of the Mindavation offerings at www.mindavation.com <http://www.mindavation.com/> or www.mindavation.com.au <http://www.mindavation.com.au/