Milestone Schedule in Business Plan
A milestone schedule in business plan is essential for the execution of your business plan.3 min read
A milestone schedule in business plan is essential for the execution of your business plan. You can think of the milestone schedule as a mile marker keeping track of how far along the road you are. In business, the milestone table helps you with writing your business plan and keeping track of how you are implementing strategies.
Tactics go hand in hand with the execution of your business strategy and milestone table. Tactics are the way you plan to execute your strategy. Milestones are then utilized to add further details to your tactics. In planning a milestone table, you will decide:
- Who will complete a specific portion of the work
- When the work will be completed
- The budget needed to complete it
Making Your Business Plan a Reality
To make your business plan a reality, list out particular steps, or milestones, to be executed. Developing a business plan with measurable actions instead of just a document will make it easier to implement. The more milestones you list out, the more complete your business plan will be.
In creating your business plan, ensure that details of the actions in the milestone table are explained in an accompanying document. Ask these questions to ensure that the plan can be translated into actionable steps:
- How will the actions in this plan be implemented?
- Are the actions in your plan specific?
- How will the implementation of the steps be measured?
Setting milestones is helpful in assessing your progress. To remain accountable in implementing these actions, let your employees know that you will be tracking and analyzing the results of each action. You can also manage the milestones by discussing pertinent milestones and their implementation within a specific time period with your team. Keep these questions in mind:
- Have you remained on budget?
- Are you meeting deadlines?
- Do you need to make adjustments?
Allow for a monthly review process to review and track your progress. Without a monthly review, you won't have a system of accountability or management. It is key to hold these meetings monthly, as a quarterly or yearly review will not allow you to identify corrections that need to be made. A monthly review will allow you to always be aware of new findings to quickly implement changes.
When your team meets monthly to review business strategy, introduce a review of your milestones to ensure you are making progress. You'll have the opportunity to discover problematic areas and spot new opportunities. Make changes based on your team's feedback. New information, such as customer needs findings, could propel some of these new changes to your milestone table.
Three Types of Milestones
There are three types of milestones that should be included in your milestone table.
- Plan Review. The plan review milestone is designed to schedule the time to go over your budget, business strategy, tactics, and forecast. This will give you the opportunity to understand what is working well and what isn't so you can make changes.
- Assumptions Validation. When you have a new business, you make a lot of assumptions about what it is your customers want. Your milestones should attempt to validate these assumptions. Your goal is to find the right product or market fit. Your assumptions have led you to believe a certain target market is interested in your product. However, you might not have the correct market fit right away. At this stage, you may easily readjust your assumptions and develop new ones to apply to your customer base.
- Implementation. After your assumptions have been affirmed, you'll create implementation milestones, which build your business. These strategies come after the early stages of starting a business so that you can implement strategies you know will succeed.
Developing Milestones for Your Business
Having a clear idea of where you want your business to go will help you understand if you're on the right track. To develop your milestones, think about your business strategy and what you will be offering and your marketing. You can divide these into categories and create smaller categories, such as product or sales. You can then begin to think of your long-term goals and short-term goals. Be as specific and detailed as possible when outlining your goals to make it easier to track your progress. Use quantifiable short- and long-term goals whenever possible, as these produce measurable results.
If you need help with creating a milestone table, you can post your job on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.