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Brian Sheehan
As a Technical Writer and Blogger, Brian enjoys the challenge of bringing concepts to life via the written word. He is a big fan of project management, technology, and cheeseburgers.
December 28, 2012 · 2 min read

Using Milestones & Roadmaps

Today's post is dedicated to Project Managers — those hard-working individuals tasked with managing the ebb & flow of projects, teams, and deadlines. Although Planio's features can be used by all, there is a pair of tools that PMs will particularly enjoy: milestones & roadmaps.

In the world of project management, a milestone represents an achievement of some sort... whether's it's completing a product deliverable or finalizing upgrade code. If a milestone is considered a tactical step, then a roadmap is the overall strategy; in short, it's the high altitude view of all milestones and how they integrate with the project as a whole.

In this post we'll discuss how to create a milestone, how to associate a milestone with an issue, and how to visualize progress via a roadmap and gantt chart. Let's start with the first step: a walkthrough of how to create a milestone.

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How to Create a Milestone

  1. Navigate to a project (Projects → Click project name).
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click the Milestones tab.
  4. Click New milestone.
  5. In the Name field (required), enter a name for the new milestone. In the example below, we are creating a milestone called "Re-design Welcome Page".
  6. In the Description field, enter a brief yet meaningful description of the milestone.
  7. In the Status field, select Open (active) for a new milestone. Other options include Locked (cannot be associated with an issue) and Closed (the milestone has been completed).
  8. In the Wiki page field (optional), enter the name of the wiki page that has content related to the milestone.
  9. In the Date field, enter the starting date of the milestone in yyyy-mm-dd format or click the mini-calendar icon to select a date.
  10. In the Sharing field, select either Not shared (milestone is not shared with any other projects), With subprojects (milestone is shared only with subprojects), With project hierarchy (milestone is shared only with direct ancestors and descendants), With project tree (milestone is shared with the root project and all of its descendants), or With all projects (milestone is shared with every Planio project).
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  1. Click Create.
  2. The milestone is created.

The Settings → Milestones interface displays the new milestone along with its defined parameters:

Alternatively, you can also create a new milestone on-the-fly within the Issue Detail screen. Simply create a new issue, or view an existing issue's details, and click the green plus icon adjacent to the Target milestone field:

Associate a Milestone with an Issue

Assuming that you created a new milestone via the Settings interface, the next step will be to associate an issue with a milestone.

When creating a new issue, or updating an existing issue, select a milestone in the Target milestone field, as follows:

Now that a milestone has been created and associated with an issue, you can use the roadmap and/or the gantt chart tools to visualize your milestones.

Viewing Milestones in the Roadmap

  1. Navigate to a project (Projects → Click project name).
  2. Click the Roadmap tab.
  3. The Roadmap interface will display a list of milestones along with a bar graph conveying the average progress of all issues associated with the milestone.
  4. Click on a milestone name to view a list of all related issues.

Viewing Milestones in the Gantt Chart

  1. Navigate to a project (Projects → Click project name).
  2. Click the Gantt tab.
  3. The project name, its milestones (conveyed by a block icon ), and all issues associated with the milestones will appear in the gantt chart as well as a visualization of the progress of each item.
  4. The gantt chart enables you to quickly visualize the overall progress of a project in terms of specific milestones — note that each milestone header also includes a percentile value showing the average progress of all related issues.

In our next Planio Tricks article we'll delve into the Gantt chart in more detail, as there is a lot of cool functionality... especially with the filtering options!

Was this article helpful? What other Planio functionality would you like to see covered? Tell us about it via a comment below. Feel free to share a Like and Tweet as well!

Brian wishes everyone a very Happy Holidays and a profitable New Year!

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