. . . but I do love milestones
I have always found the word “deadline” a little uncomfortable. So one day, I decided to look up its origin. I don’t know where I originally found it, but there is a very good discussion on the wonderful “The Mavens’ Word of the Day” site, run by Random House. Here we learn that the word originates in the American Civil War, as a line, drawn around a prisoners’ stockade, “over which no man could pass and live.”
Deadlines imply sanctions – and extreme ones at that. There may be pressure, but there is no joy in deadlines.
Milestones, on the other hand, achieve the same effect, but are positive incentives. They mark important, worthy, notable, successes. They are therefore a cause for celebration. Hurrah!
More milestones, or fewer?
Some project managers like to litter their plans with lots of milestones. Others view this as just a little crass.
Me, I like lots of milestones:
more milestones = more successes
more successes = more celebrations
more celebrations = more motivation
The “so what?”
Milestone or deadline? Your choice.
More or fewer? Your choice.