jira milestones

Jira Milestones in Roadmaps: Your Comprehensive Guide

Milestones let you mark important moments in your Jira projects, particularly when visualizing data, as in a Gantt chart or roadmap. But there’s a catch – there’s no straightforward way to create them in Jira. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your Milestones and Jira data too. We’re here to show you ways to visualize your data with Milestones. 

In this post we’ll explain how to add Milestones to your Jira data, along with offering answers to your Milestone-related questions, including:

  • What is a Jira Milestone?
  • How do you add Milestones to Jira data?
  • What are some common use cases for Milestones in Jira?

What is a Milestone in Jira?

Milestones let you mark significant events or branching decision points in roadmaps.

Jira Milestones also let you judge how much work has been done towards an overarching objective and represent key moments in the lifecycle of one or more projects. 

Milestones can be when a project starts or ends, when you turn in an important deliverable, or even just moments where you have to review progress. They’re also useful in reporting when you’ve had successes over a quarter or other time period, even if a given project or group of projects hasn’t wrapped up yet. 

While many Jira users have requested Milestones for Jira roadmaps, Jira does not currently offer this feature. However, there are still workarounds you can use to incorporate Milestones with your Jira data.

For instance, Visor offers a Jira integration that lets you visualize your project data, including the option to add Milestones (we’ll go into that below).

What is the difference between an Epic and a Milestone in Jira?

Epics and Milestones are two different, but related things. In Jira, an epic is a big chunk of work that you can break down into smaller chunks, called Issues. Epics can involve multiple teams, projects, and sprints and can help in organizing projects within Jira. 

Milestones can be used to mark key dates within roadmaps, allowing you to visualize important deadlines or other events. They can exist within an epic, but one doesn’t necessarily depend on the other. You can have an epic without Milestones, and you can have Milestones that don’t fall directly under an epic.

Currently, there isn’t a way to create a Jira milestone in a Jira roadmap.

Does Jira have Milestones?

There are no native Milestones in Jira (although there are 2000+ votes for Jira to include this feature). Therefore, if you want to add Milestones to your Jira data, you’ll need to use an app. 

For instance, Visor offers an app that allows you to visualize Jira data in a Jira Gantt chart or roadmap – and includes a Milestone feature. You can also add Milestones from Visor’s spreadsheet, allowing you to quickly identify important dates at a glance.

Roadmap Created in Visor with Jira Milestones:

Roadmap with Jira Milestones added

How do I add a Milestone to my Jira Timeline or Advanced Roadmap?

There are a couple of basic ways to add Milestones to your Jira Roadmaps:

Milestone workaround in Jira

Some users have gotten around the lack of Milestones in Jira by creating a custom Milestone issue type. This allows you to add Milestones to epics and including as part of your planning. 

You can take it further by creating a view in Jira Advanced Roadmaps so that you only see epics and their Milestones. Or simply filter your Timeline view by issue type so that you can only see Milestones.

Unfortunately, in this system, the Milestones are not truly integrated with the rest of the issues in Jira, meaning the visualizations it offers are limited. 

Creating Roadmaps with Milestones in Visor

Visor offers an easy-to-use Milestone feature that allows you to visualize your Jira data with Milestones included. Visor also allows you to create a two-way sync between Visor and Jira so that your data is always up to date.

Using Visor you can:

  • View Milestones with other tasks and epics within a hierarchy
  • Give your Jira Milestone a name and description
  • Find the Milestone on a Jira Gantt chart based on its due date.
  • Drag the Jira Milestone to a different date
  • Filter your view to add or remove Milestones
  • Edit or delete your Jira Milestone as needed

Visor offers multiple views, and you can create a Milestone from all of them in just a few clicks. Take a look at how you can turn tasks into Milestones:

Create Milestones from Visor’s Gantt View

In Visor’s Gantt View, you will see a “Display As” column to the left. Select Milestone from the dropdown menu, and the issue you have selected will be converted into a Milestone. These Milestones will appear as diamonds on the Gantt chart.

Creating Jira Milestones in Visor's Gantt View

You can also select the color you’d prefer for your Milestones, choosing on-brand colors by Hex code or bright colors to grab attention or convey urgency.

Create Milestones from Visor’s Table View

To transform a task into a Milestone, right-clicking on a record or make the change from the “Display As” dropdown menu. When you go to Gantt view, the Milestone will appear as a diamond on the Gantt chart.

Visor screen for displaying data as Gantt milestone with Jira data

Video Tutorial: Jira Milestones in Visor

If you’d like to see exactly how to use Jira Milestones in Visor, take a look at the tutorial below for step-by-step instructions below or check out Visor’s Milestones feature announcement, which also has instructions.

How do you assign a Milestone?

Typically Milestones are not assigned, since they represent important dates rather than tasks. However, if you wanted to assign a Milestone to someone in Visor that would be possible. You could turn a task assigned to someone into a Milestone. 

For example, you could have a task indicating a team member should publish a blog post. The blog post can be a Milestone if it represents an important marker – say it represents a 100th blog post. 

What are some common use cases for Jira Milestones?

While there is no native option for Milestones in Jira, that doesn’t mean there are no use cases for them. Here are a few of the ways Visor users can take advantage of our Milestone feature together with their Jira data.

Tracking dates with Jira Milestones

There are some hard dates that can’t be changed. Being able to visualize those immovable dates along with other Jira tasks, bugs, etc. lets you keep your eye on important targets. 

Prioritization with Jira Milestones

Milestones give you the ability to to prioritize across multiple views and using multiple filters, allowing you to see the tasks you need without losing sight of major events or dates.

Reporting dates to stakeholders

Sometimes working with Jira means explaining your progress to leadership and other non-Jira users. That becomes a lot easier with Milestones offering a clear visual indicator that you’re making progress and hitting targets.

Breaking up releases with Jira Milestones

Milestones let you divide your releases in a way that’s simpler to understand. For instance, you can identify when a project reaches MVP and when additions to a release come in. This gives you the ability to absorb a big release in smaller easy-to-digest phases.

Provide visual context with Jira Milestones

Every now and then, events happen outside the usual Jira ticket scope. By linking up your Jira data with Visor, you can add in Milestones, highlighting those events. These markers help you see and plan for special events (like industry trade shows) and add a bit of context.

Conclusion: Get Jira Milestones with Visor

Though it’s difficult to get true Milestone functionality in Jira, that doesn’t mean you can’t add them to your Jira data. Visor gives you access to the ability to add Milestones that are fully integrated with the rest of your Jira data and displayed in an easy-to-understand, eye-catching way. 

If you’d like to learn more about Milestones in Visor, get in touch! We’d be happy to show you how you can add Milestones to your data. 

Are you ready to begin?

Visor is secure, free, and doesn't require a credit card.

Get Started For Free