Project Schedule Quality 103: Finding Invalid Milestones

project schedule quality invalid milestones

The following tutorial is 3rd part of our project schedule quality series that provides over 14 different ways to improve your project schedule.

In this Microsoft Project tutorial, you’ll identify invalid milestones using by creating an invalid milestone custom filter.  An invalid milestone is a task that is marked as a milestone in Microsoft Project but has a duration assigned.  A milestone task recognizes a significant event or deliverable and has a zero duration.

Since Microsoft Project allows you to mark a task (even if it has duration) as a milestone, this is a quality gap that can appear in some schedules.  Instead of marking a task with duration and resources assigned as a milestone, it is better to create a separate task with a zero duration and link the two tasks.  This way a clean set of milestones can be generated.

Microsoft Project Tutorial: Invalid Milestone Custom Filter

Follow these steps to build your Invalid Milestone Filter

  1. Go to View – Filters – New Filter.
  2. Rename the filter to “Invalid Milestones”
  3. Add the “Milestone field equals Yes”.
  4. Add “And Duration is greater than 0d”.
  5. Click the checkbox “Show related summary rows”
  6. Click Save

microsoft project custom milestone filter

If you prefer, you can uncheck the Show related summary rows box to just get a list of tasks.  I like seeing the hierarchy of preceding tasks since it gives some context to the problem task.  Below are the results of the filter.

microsoft project tutorial schedule quality invalid milestones

Its a simple quality check the identifies invalid milestones.  Go ahead and either adjust the duration to zero or create new tasks and link them so one represents the actual task and the other is a valid milestone.  Once your schedule is fixed, clear the filter and let’s move on to our next project schedule quality check and find all the tasks with missing baselines.

Photo Credit: Frédéric Minne

Opt In Image
Get the Job You Deserve In 7 Easy Steps
Learn a simple 7 step process for finding, preparing and passing your next PM interview

About Andrew Makar

My official bio is I'm an "IT Director with delivery experience across projects, programs and portfolios in Automotive, Financial and Marketing industries". I've enjoy putting project management theory into real-world practice and over the years I've published and taught my approaches to Tactical Project Management.When I'm not working, writing, or teaching, I'm hanging out with my kids and learning the occasional card trick or two.
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply