Milestones Plan vs. Gantt Charts?

John Cano

Senior Project Manager | PMO at Government of Nova Scotia


Planning is one of the key activities to succeed during any project, as you know it requires a huge amount of attention and knowledge to understand the scope that needs to be accomplished. During this phase is where your knowledge in leadership comes to place since you have to make it fun by bringing the team to discuss and think about what needs to be done. I’ve seen “project managers” that never wrote a single code or crafted an UX user story or designed UIs of an app or even design/wireframing a website but they create project activities like they know what needs to be done without the help of the team. Don’t get me wrong because you don’t need to be an expert but like Steve Jobs said:

Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer …because it teaches you how to think

Steve Jobs

In other words, not only to plan you must know what needs to be delivered, but also to speak the languange of your team members to bring the best of them. If at your company you have the opportunity to choose the team, even more you must know all this.

When it comes to planning, always bring the team to the room and discuss the project. I’m sure you will find new ways on how to tackle projects by bringing the best of your team and making them feel part of something big.

Two simple planning techniques are a good practice for project development and Project Teams; Milestone Plans and Gantt Charts:

  • Milestone Plans – focus mainly on the end-dates by which something needs to be complete or by which certain objectives need to be achieved. 
  • Gantt Charts focus more on the activities to be carried out to complete the project.

Both are invaluable in forcing a Project Team to think through the detail of what needs to be done, what the priorities and linkages are, and then as a means of communicating intentions to others in a diagram or picture. These are some of the topics that your team will give you during the “project introduction meeting” because they will share with you; risks, challenges among others.

In overal a Gantt chart is a tool used for project management. It is used to represent the timing of various tasks that are required to complete a project. A milestone chart is used to depict key events along a timescale graphically. Gantt charts are used to project the relation between the task and the time associated with it. It was developed by Henry Gantt in the year 1910.

Nowdays milestones are mainly for clients and sometimes internally as a friendly reminder since everyone has access to their gantt chart plan. When creating your gantt chart, milestones provide a very easy way to see important dates at a glance. This allows others who view your gantt chart to quickly see the big important dates. It’s also a great feeling to complete the milestone and check it off when it’s complete!

Also consider life is full of milestones – and so are projects. When planning a project, aside from laying out the tasks that take you from beginning to end, you’re inevitably going to want to mark key dates along the way. One easy way to do this is through the use of a diamond shaped symbol in your Gantt chart, the milestone. Milestones not only help your team to stay on track, they are also useful to you as a project manager to more accurately determine whether or not your project is on schedule.

There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to implement this type of techniques to inform internally and externally the plan, you can use google sheets to avoid montly fees and do it professional or pay a subscription fee to a software to do this fancy …

Please follow the link below to download my template that it might help your business …like and use!

This article reproduced from with permision of the author to share on my blog. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: