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The difference between Tasks and Milestones, and how to use them together
The difference between Tasks and Milestones, and how to use them together

What is a milestone, and how does it differ from a task?

Leoni Keogh avatar
Written by Leoni Keogh
Updated over a week ago

In WeTrack, tasks and milestones are used together to help you manage your projects. A milestone is a special kind of task with additional attributes you can use for project tracking and reporting. Milestones always have the same start and end date, meaning their duration is always zero days. This distinction leads us to the key difference between a task and a milestone.

  • A task represents a specific piece of work that needs to be accomplished during a project.

  • A milestone is a marker of a significant achievement during a project, or a key point in time where an objective is expected to be met.

How do tasks and milestones work together in a project plan?

Tasks and milestones are used together to create your project schedule. Typically you would have a series of tasks that lead into a milestone. Once all the tasks are completed, the milestone is achieved.

An example of a milestone could be "Venue use agreement signed". The tasks that lead into that milestone could be:

  • "Venue use agreement drafting";

  • "Venue use agreement negotiations with venue"; and

  • "Final draft of venue use agreement prepared for execution."

Once those steps are completed and the agreement signed, the milestone has been achieved.

Use dependencies to link tasks and milestones

When combining tasks and milestones in a project plan, it makes sense to use dependencies to link the items together. This way, if a task leading to a milestone turns amber or red, the milestone owner will be notified. This should then help you take action to ensure the milestone remains on track.

In the Gantt chart, it would look like this:

You might want to check out our article on Using Gantt to track your milestones, and learn how to Create dependencies in the Gantt. Or for more on the value of the Gantt chart to your project management, check out our longer blog piece.

Categorising milestones

When creating a milestone, the WeTrack system offers three categorisations, or levels. These are fully configurable depending on your organisational needs, and can be as simple as Gold, Silver and Bronze milestones. Generally these categories relate to the level of monitoring and importance of the milestone. A typical project will have many milestones, with some more important than others.

By categorising milestones according to their importance you can then tailor your reporting so that milestones are being monitored at the right level. As an example, a milestone like "sample menu tastings complete" likely only needs to be monitored by an individual project manager, however "catering service delivery contract signed" likely needs monitoring at the executive level.

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