A milestone chart template is a reusable resource that shows the key targets of your project. Milestone chart templates provide a visual representation of your monumental milestones plotted on a project timeline. They break longer or more complex projects down into smaller stages, so you can celebrate your teams’ wins along the way. But you don’t need to create a new process for every project. By saving your favorite milestone chart layout as a template, you can create a new chart with the click of a button.
Below is a simplified example of a milestone chart template used for product launches. You’ll see that the milestones separate out the project stages, creating a natural pause where you progress from one series of steps to the next. This milestone chart template can be reused for every new product launch, with slight modifications to customize tasks when needed.
Milestones provide opportunities to pause, review, and celebrate (or adjust) before the next phase of work begins. They’re natural project breaks where one stage ends and a new one begins. For example, when a project moves from:
Discovery to design
Research to UX development
Content planning to writing
There’s power in celebrating the important steps of your project process. Once you’ve identified key milestones, a milestone chart template helps you track your progress towards deliverables and dependencies in real time. For each new project, you can simply create a new milestone chart by copying your template and filling in details.
Milestone chart templates:
Provide a visual timeline format that’s easy to follow.
Help you identify and celebrate key milestones to keep team morale high.
Organize your project progress in chronological order.
Reduce the work of creating a new milestone chart for every new project.
You won’t always need a milestone chart template. For simpler project schedule templates with short timelines, a more traditional project timeline template will do. But many projects are more complex, with varying levels and degrees. There are also times when larger projects are spread across months or even years. In either case, a milestone chart template can be a helpful way to track your progress, using important milestones to break a project down into more manageable stages.
Imagine you’re developing a new product. The end goal is to go to market, but that could take years. Looking at this product schedule as a whole might be discouraging, because it’s hard to get excited about end dates that are so far in the future.
To hype up the team, you need to start celebrating the smaller milestones as they happen. With a project milestone chart template, you can identify key events and label them as milestones, like when the team completes the UX design and the marketing team creates a product launch plan.
For your milestone chart template to be most effective, you need to to track each project component. To do so, use a work management tool that allows you to connect tasks, deadlines, and team members directly to your milestone chart. Using integrations, you’ll also be able to directly attach documents, files, and notes to each milestone and task.
Once you have your milestone chart template set up, populate it with the tasks you need to complete and the associated milestones. For example, start by listing all tasks your team needs to complete in Q1. Then, set periodic milestones to represent the completion of tasks within each section. For example, set a milestone for when your team completes the design phase. Then, plot these milestones on a horizontal timeline. Determine deadlines, assign team members, and attach any related information, including documents, briefs, or meeting transcripts.
For each new project, copy your template to create a new milestone chart during the project planning stage of project management. Use it alongside your project roadmap, business case, or as its own, free-standing project guide.Create your template
There’s no one size fits all template. The best milestone chart template will be the one that works for you and your team’s needs. That being said, there are some best practices for what to include on your milestone chart template that will help you get the most from it:
An area to define project goals
A task list
Milestones scheduled in an estimated cadence
Space to connect tasks to files
Time built into the schedule to celebrate milestones
Timeline View. Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule.
Milestones. Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal.
Goals. Goals in Asana directly connect to the work you’re doing to hit them, making it easy for team members to see what they’re working towards. More often than not, our goals live separate from the work that goes into achieving them. By connecting your team and company goals to the work that supports them, team members have real-time insight and clarity into how their work directly contributes to your team—and company—success. As a result, team members can make better decisions. If necessary, they can identify the projects that support the company’s strategy and prioritize work that delivers measurable results.
Project Overview. Project Overview is your one-stop-shop for all important project context. Give your team a bird’s-eye view of the what, why, and how of your project work. Add a project description to set the tone for how you’ll work together in Asana. Then, share any important resources and context—like meeting details, communication channels, and project briefs—in one place.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.
Clockwise. With the Clockwise + Asana integration, you can add Asana tasks as time blocks in your Google Calendar. The Clockwise + Asana integration allows you to specify the duration of tasks, when they happen, and whether Clockwise can automatically reschedule them. Add tasks to your calendar and make time to get work done.
Zoom. Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.
Once you have your ideal milestone chart, save it as a template to reduce the work of creating one for each and every project.
Creating a milestone chart template is simple with a project management tool. First, list out all the related tasks for a specific project in timeline view. Group them into unifying themes, for example, a timeframe or team. Create milestones to represent when each of these groups will be completed. And voila—you have a milestone chart template!
You can use any spreadsheet or document software to create a milestone chart template, but their capabilities are limited. To get a usable, efficient milestone chart, you’ll want to create one in a project management tool.
Your milestone chart template should be customizable to fit your team’s needs. To get the most of yours, use a project management tool that allows you to include milestones, project goals, a task list, collaborators, and a timeline.
The purpose of a milestone chart template is in their structure—organized tasks on a timeline—which makes it easy to track progress and celebrate every milestone, big and small. When used in a project management tool, a milestone chart template should help your team get excited about upcoming projects.
Milestone chart templates and Gantt chart templates both visually organize your work. The main difference between the two is that milestone chart templates are designed to emphasize milestones, whereas Gantt chart templates are used for both tasks and milestones.
A project’s scope is just as important as its budget or timeline. Prioritize this crucial part of project management by creating a project scope management plan template.
Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana with a free Premium trial today.