Milestone templates allow you to quickly create milestones for standardized processes, complete with individual tasks grouped into task lists. Milestone forms allow you to control which milestone fields are displayed in your milestones and milestone templates. Company administrators can create and edit milestone templates in the company setup screen via the admin “Cog Wheel” icon in the top right corner of your screen.
Work forward vs. work backward
Before creating a Milestone template, it’s important to know the difference between “Working Forward” and “Working Backward”. A milestone template can be designed to “work forward” from an anticipated start date, calculating a due date based on the total time required to complete all the included tasks. You can set a start date and the milestone will tell you when the job is due to be completed. These types of milestones are useful in a situation where a client wants to know when they can expect a project to be finished, based on when it’s started.
Alternatively, milestone templates can be designed to “work backward” from a projected due date, ensuring that all work will be completed by a particular day. When creating a “work backward” milestone, you program in a date when all the tasks need to be completed by, and the created milestone will calculate when each task must be started by to stay on schedule. These types of milestones are preferred when working on a deadline determined before the project is started.
For example, if Jack Holloway’s client says they need a project completed by September 6, he would use a “Work Backward” Milestone Template type. When he creates a new milestone using that template, he will enter the due date of September 6 and all the included tasks will be scheduled backward from that date, letting him know when his team needs to start work to stay on schedule.
Conversely, if the client asks Jack, “If you start on October 10, when will you anticipate being finished with this project?” He would use a “Work Forward” template type, entering in the start date of October 10 and seeing when the last task is expected to be completed according to scheduled duration of each task.
Creating a Milestone Template
To create a milestone template, navigate to the top right of your screen and select the company admin “Cog Wheel” icon. Go to Company Setup, select Templates > milestone templates and click the Add milestone template button.
The “Create a Milestone Template” window will allow you to configure the milestone:
Type: Work forward from a known start date, or work backward from a projected due date.
Title: This is how the template will appear in the Project Management milestone list, as well as the milestone templates list.
Assignees: Determine which Workspace Roles will be assigned to this milestone upon creation.
CC Roles: Decide which roles will be kept up-to-date on the Milestone status, as well as any comments made on the milestone.
Description: Any additional information regarding the milestone can be added here and will appear in the milestone description upon creation.
After you create a new milestone template, you are automatically directed to a default task list titled “[MILESTONE TEMPLATE NAME] Task List”. This is the first task list attached to the milestone template. You can either begin adding new tasks to this task list by clicking the Create Task button or go back to add or edit task lists associated with the milestone template.
Adding Task Lists to the milestone template
You can add any number of task lists to the milestone template, so long as they match the template type: work forward or work backward. For example, you cannot add a “Work Forward” task list template type to a “Work Backward” milestone template, and vice versa.
To add a task list in a milestone template, first select the milestone template name from the Milestone Templates list. Then click the Add Task List button.
You can either create a new task list or add one from your existing list of Task List Templates. If you do not have any existing Task Lists which match the milestone template type, your only option will be to create a "New Task List."
Adding Tasks to Included Task Lists
After selecting a milestone template from the milestone templates list, you can open a task list by selecting it from the following page. In the task list view, you can click on Create Task to begin adding new tasks to the list.
Example: Work Forward Task
In the image below, the “Create task” screen asks you for a “Relative start date” because the Task List type is “Work Forward”. In the example, this task will start on the same start date as the milestone and will have a due date 5 business days afterward. The total duration of the task will not include any non-working days. Therefore, this task will appear to have a duration of 7 calendar days if it extends across a non-working weekend.
Example: Work Backward Task
In the example below, the “Create Task” screen asks you for a ”Relative end date” because the Task List type is “Work Backward.” This task will be due on the same date that the Milestone is scheduled to be completed. Its start date will begin 5 business days before its due date, not including any non-working days. If it spans across a non-working weekend, it will appear to have a duration of 7 calendar days.