Key Learning Outcomes

  • Learn that a milestone schedule maps out the key deliverables in a plan or project.
  • Compile a milestone schedule that will help to keep you or your business or team accountable.
  • Build a milestone schedule as part of the business planning process using the case study business as a guide.
  • Recognise the importance of regularly reviewing the implementation schedule for business plan ideas and projects.

Article

A milestone schedule outlines the important deliverables in a project. In the business plan, the milestone schedule outlines when you are going to achieve the activities and tasks that you have outlined in your work plan.

In most small- to medium-sized businesses, we find that these are most accurate for the first 30 to 60 days. Our advice would be to outline deliverables for the full 12 months, giving you a timeline for achieving each goal and objective. You can then flesh out the first quarter and review after the first 30 days and then add some more detail in the next 60 days and so on. This allows for modification and will ensure that you remain focused throughout the year.

With most of our clients, we suggest working with 30-day action plans throughout the year. This involves breaking down the work plan and the milestone schedule into 30-day chunks, identifying what is going to be done or commenced each month. Action plans will include each task that is required for each activity, and each task is assigned to someone to take responsibility for its completion. This keeps everyone accountable and ensures that ideas do not get lost in the day-to-day running of the business.  You will find an article outlining how to formulate an action plan in this section of the website.

The work plan for our case study client, The Best Beauty Salon, includes a list of tasks that need to be done in order for the goals and objectives to be met. The next step is to go through the list and start to look at when each task could realistically be commenced and completed. In some cases there are resources that are needed before the activity can be commenced or completed.

Below is The Best Beauty Salon’s initial milestone schedule.[wlm_ismember]

milestone-scheduleThe business identified which activities they believed would bring the greatest impact and could be implemented quickly. These activities were then given the deadline of 30 days for commencement. By identifying these opportunities for a quick win, there is the added benefit of the team feeling energised and enthusiastic as they see some actions in the business plan quickly coming to life. Further, by starting with activities that are likely to have a high chance of success, such as the reconnection with old clients, there is an immediate impact on the progress rate of some of the goals and objectives.

The final stage before putting the final business plan together is completion of the critical risk analysis.[/wlm_ismember]

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