I know, you're probably asking:
Why the effff is Fonna relating Project Milestones with Mario Kart?!
But, have you ever played Mario Kart? Have you ever run a project?!
A project sometimes feels like this:
And sometimes a project feels like this:
Just as a refresher, a Milestone is "A significant point or event in the project".
Similarly, a Schedule Milestone is "A significant event in the project schedule, such as an event restraining future work or marking the completion of a major deliverable. A schedule milestone has zero duration. Sometimes called a milestone activity." [Source: PM Gloss]
In Mario Kart, a milestone would be completing a lap.
Similarly, in a project (for example a stock photo project) a list of milestones can include:
mood board/concept finalized
location & equipment booked
legal forms signed
photo shoot complete
social media teaser posted
photo editing complete
website submission done
promotional A/B testing campaign sent
In order to complete each milestone, we have a series of actions or activities that must get done before we reach a milestone.
Schedule Activity. "A discrete scheduled component of work performed during the course of a project. A schedule activity normally has an estimated duration, an estimated cost, and estimated resource requirements. Schedule activities are connected to other schedule activities or schedule milestones with logical relationships, and are decomposed from work packages." [Source]: PM Gloss
Schedule activities are the tasks that lead up to each milestone.
In Mario Kart, the schedule activity would be the exciting part of the game: racing, enduring the twists and turns, avoiding obstacles, destroying other player's chances of winning. *evil laughter*
So, let's recap.
We start the race in Mario Kart. That's that's the beginning of your project.
As we race, we deal with things like shells, boomerangs, bananas, and navigating obstacles. These different tasks are called "Schedule Activity" because it is activity (or action steps) that happen along your project schedule (or project timeline).
Whew, you finished a lap. This is called a "Milestone" or "Schedule Milestone".
After three laps, you are done!