There’s no real plan without milestones. Milestones are what you use to manage responsibilities, track results, and review and revise. And without tracking and review, there is no management, and no accountability.
With LivePlan, you can use the scheduling feature in LivePlan to develop your milestones and manage them with tracking and email reminders. In the illustration for the bicycle store lean plan review schedule (reproduced here below for convenience) you can also see milestones including a top 10 customer list, spring promotion, and social media setup. LivePlan mixes the review schedule and milestones together.
Just as you need tactics to execute strategy, so too you need milestones to execute tactics. Normally you’ll look for a close match between tactics and milestones.
And you might also have budgets, start dates, and additional information for major milestones. Then make sure all your people know that you will be following the plan, tracking the milestones, and analyzing the plan-vs.-actual results. If you don’t follow up, your plan will not be implemented.
Your milestones list and categorize what’s supposed to happen for ongoing tactics related to products, services, marketing, and sales. They include launch dates, review dates, prototype availabilities, advertising, social media, website development, programs to generate leads and traffic. The milestones set the plan tactics into practical, concrete terms, with real budgets, deadlines, and management responsibilities. They are the building blocks of strategy and tactics. And they are essential to your ongoing plan-vs.-actual management and analysis, which is what turns your planning into management.
And you develop your milestones by thinking through strategy, tactics and actions for business offering and marketing. So you can naturally divide them into the same categories as your tactics: marketing and sales, product, and other (where “other” might be, as with tactics, financing activities like raising investment or contracting commercial credit). Or the milestones might be related to legal issues, or managing a team, or logistics like moving or opening a new location.