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Wave Success Center by McKinsey

Create a Milestone

Milestones (or actions or activities) are high-level activities that are required to implement an initiative. They are not meant to capture extremely detailed or granular tasks, but rather the major activities that are needed to display the overall status of the initiatives' implementation. A good milestone clearly articulates what action needs to be taken, who is accountable for the milestone being completed, and the specific date by which the milestone will be complete.

How many milestones do I need to enter in my initiative?

Wave is not intended to be a project management tool, so the rule of thumb is that anywhere from 3-10 milestones are sufficient to provide an overall view into the implementation plan. Wave will not stop you from entering more than 10 milestones, but it is also not required to go into such extensive detail. A program sponsor likely will not want to see a list of 40 milestones as this will be difficult to synthesize quickly. Alternatively, only 1 or 2 milestones will not provide enough insight into how far along (or behind) the initiative is in its implementation. 

Step-by step Instructions

1. In the initiative card, click the Milestones tab, then +ADD MILESTONE. A new milestone card will display. 


2. In the milestone card, enter a milestone name and milestone owner, which are required to save the new milestone. We also recommend adding a descriptionstart date and end date for your action. Depending on your configuration, there may be additional fields to fill out. Note that milestone cards typically have significantly fewer fields and tabs to fill out than initiatives.


3. When all the appropriate fields are completed, click Create.


4. Return to your initiative by clicking on the initiative link in the top left corner of the milestone card.


5. Once you have created a milestone for your initiative, you can add new milestones directly from the milestones tab or from the plus sign at the top of the initiative card

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