99 Tricks and Traps for Microsoft projectUnderstanding Start and Finish Milestones in Microsoft Project

A Milestone is created by assigning a task a zero duration:

–  A Milestone is a Start Milestone when it has no predecessors.

–  A Milestone is a Finish Milestone if it has one or more predecessors.

–  A Start Milestone is at the Start of a Time Period, for example, 8:00 am.

–  A Finish Milestone is at the End of a Time Period, for example, 5:00 pm, see Task 3 and 5 below.

ms project set up start milestones

– A task may also be made to look like a Milestone by checking the Mark as a milestone in the Task Information form General tab, see Task 2 below.

The Milestone may be set to display at the Start or Finish of the Tasks by editing the From and To fields of Milestones in the Bar Styles form:

start milestones in ms project

Note: Unlike some other scheduling software it is not possible for the user to assign a Milestone as either a Start or Finish Mile Stone in Microsoft Project.

Converting a Finish Milestone into a Start Milestone

Sometimes it is important to have a Start Milestone with has a predecessor. For example, Task 5 in the picture below may be required on Friday morning not Thursday afternoon:

ms project - converting finish milestones 1

One workaround to achieve this:

–  Assign a short duration to the intended Start Milestone. The duration is not important, say I min.

–  Check the Mark as a Milestone in the General tab of the Task Information form.

– Ensure all successors of the Start Milestone are Start to Start, otherwise all successors will span 1 day longer than their assigned duration:

Without a Start to Start successor:

ms project converting finish milestones 2

With a Start to Start successor:

ms project converting finish milestones 3

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.