Milestone project review meetings are points where the team and other stakeholders briefly reconvene. A milestone meeting is scheduled at a point where the project plan has progressed and some of the tasks have been completed (see Figure 12-5). The attendees review the project's success and risk factor utilization. In addition, they use the opportunity to keep downstream task leaders in touch with the project. They do not, however, critique individual performances, nor do they micro manage. Milestone and review meetings should never bring about any surprises or replanning. Milestones celebrate success. The project manager and the individual team members handle the other factors offline, before the milestone meetings.
Two milestone points seem to identify themselves on the "Build a House" critical path chart shown in Figure 12-5 (originally presented in Chapter 8). The roughing-in phase is finished at the end of Day . The morning of Day 9 is a natural milestone and point for a brief project review meeting. The main finishing work is completed at the end of Day 19. The morning of Day 20 also makes a very good milestone point. It calls for a project review just before the final touches of the house are applied.
Milestone points are often appropriately placed after a risk factor. One would not insert a risk factor until Day 20 on the "Build a House" path because not enough tasks are on the critical path to justify an earlier risk factor calculation. (Only six tasks are on the critical path at the Day nine milestone.) Six tasks do not provide enough risk distribution to justify calculating a risk factor here. By Day 20, 11 tasks on the critical path are completed, which gives just enough spread to support a risk analysis and risk factor calculation. If this did not represent the end of the project, the milestone would stand, but the risk analysis would be delayed until at least 20 critical path tasks had been completed.