Adding % Complete to Milestones in the Gantt Chart

Milestones are an important part of any project. They show important achievements in a project, which can be used to communicate high level progress to senior management.

Gantt chart in Microsoft Project gives us a graphical representation of the task/project status. Tasks are represented by bars that  graphically display progress.  Milestones are represented by diamonds, but since they are 0 days tasks, there is graphically no progress displayed. Fortunately there is an easy way to fix this.

Open your project in Microsoft Project. (The screenshots are from Microsoft Project 2013, but the same steps apply to Microsoft Project 2010).


As you can see, looking at the Milestone in Gantt chart does not provide any information related to status of the milestone.

To add Percent complete  –

  1. Click on the Format Tab
  2. Under the ‘Bar Style’ section of the ribbon, click on Format –> Bar StyleParthiv_2
  3. From the Bar Style dialog box, Select ‘Milestone’ and then click on the Text tab at the bottom.
  4. Click on the Drop Down menu next to ‘Right’ and select ‘%Complete’ and then click ok.Parthiv_3

Now if you go back to the Gantt Chart, you will see the %Complete next to the Milestone icon.


Note: Milestone should always be either 0% or 100%.

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Written by Parthiv Bhuta

Parthiv Bhuta is a Consultant and Trainer at EPMA with an MBA from University of Houston. He has been using Microsoft Project and Project Server since version 2003. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional and working towards getting a certification as a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Visit his blog and connect with Parthiv on LinkedIn or Google+.

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  1. I have milestone tasks added at the bottom of my project plan (Outline number 3), but the actual planned tasked run in Outline sections 1 & 2. (This was done because the external Vendor uses MS Excel and it does not follow IPEC, nor do the tasks really fit to the Milestones, but because I have to track both, I need it this way. These milestone tasks are linked with relevant task from the actual tasks as a successor.

    Predecceor tasks have % work complete added. However Milestone tasks still shows 0%.

    Can you suggest me how to have these milestone tasks show the progress as well?

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