Guest Contributor

How to Motivate Your Team With a Milestone Chart

By | Mona Freund

Cultivating a great workplace culture is a crucial part of every team leader’s job. By creating a positive, encouraging morale, you can motivate your team to do their best work. One way to keep your team inspired is to create a milestone chart.

A milestone chart is a horizontal chart with checkpoints for every step in a project. In addition to making your team feel accomplished, a milestone chart can also help project stakeholders see your progress.

If you want to keep your employees motivated, follow these seven steps to create your own milestone chart.

  • Determine Project Goals

The first step to making a milestone chart is defining your goals. Start by outlining each major accomplishment you’d like to achieve during the course of your project and why each goal matters. Then, create a general timeline outlining when you’ll begin and finish the project.

  • Make a Task List

Once you’ve defined your general goals and timeline, create a list of every task needed for your project. Each task should correspond to a certain date when it should be completed. It’s helpful to list all your tasks in chronological order.

  • Define Milestones

An essential part of creating a milestone chart is identifying your milestones. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a milestone and a goal or deliverable. In short, a goal refers to overall business objectives, and a deliverable means a tangible product or report. Meanwhile, a milestone is more conceptual and meets the following criteria:

  • Impacts your project deadline
  • Significant point in the project
  • Stakeholders should review this task
  • Project cannot be completed without it

If a step satisfies those four bullet points, you’ve found one of your milestones.

  • Write a Timeline

Next, you’ll need to create exact timeframes for completing all your goals, tasks, deliverables, and milestones. It’s important to keep in mind that delays in certain tasks may require shifts in your timeline for other steps. With a clear timeline, you should be able to visualize your entire project from start to finish.

  • Share Your Timeline

Once you create the timeline, share it with your immediate team who will be working on the project with you. Allow them to identify any gaps or problem areas they might anticipate. From there, send it to your wider team so they’re in the loop about more broad project goals.

  • Add Documents

When you begin working on your project, add relevant links, communications, and other information to each task. That way, everyone has easy access to the materials under each step. Continue modifying your milestone chart throughout your project lifecycle.

  • Celebrate Each Milestone

Every time your team reaches a milestone, celebrate it by ordering everyone a meal, passing out gift cards, or letting them go home early. Having tangible benefits that correspond with the successful completion of a milestone will make your project feel all the more rewarding for the team.

Simply by following these steps, you can create a milestone chart that keeps your team on track and inspired throughout every project.

For more information about milestone charts, check out the infographic below.


Milestone charts

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