What is a gate review in project management? (2024)

A gate review is a valuable way to keep track of each phase or stage of a project. It allows independent reviewers to assess the work already completed and evaluate the project’s subsequent steps. In short, it’s an essential part of project governance.

In this guide, we’ll explain what a gate review is and why they are so important. Then we’ll discuss who, when, and how you should conduct a gate review – we’ll even show you how to include a gate review in one of our customizable project templates.

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What is a gate review?

A gate review is a checkpoint that governs whether the project can proceed or not. As a formal governance step, it confirms the project team completed the required processes and tasks, and that the project is worth continuing. Stakeholders reaffirm their commitment to the project and authorize it to move into the next stage.

A gate review has five possible outcomes:

  • Go: The project may proceed.
  • Kill: It’s no longer feasible to pursue the project.
  • Hold: Due to some reason, the project is on hold for now but may continue in the future.
  • Recycle: After a few adjustments, the project can go ahead.
  • Conditional go: Upon meeting certain conditions, the project may move forward.

In a literal sense, it is a gate between phases or stages of a project, where the gatekeeper decides if the project should pass into the next stage.

You can’t complete a phase or stage and cross to the next one until you pass through the gate.

What is a gate review in project management? (1)

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There are various names for project management gates, including:

  • stage gates
  • phase gates
  • decision gates
  • toll gates
  • boundary gates
  • gateway
  • go / no-go

Why are gate reviews important?

Gate reviews confirm that current projects are still:

  • Required by the business
  • Aligned to organizational strategy
  • Due to be completed within budget
  • On track to deliver the forecasted benefits

Gate reviews also allow you to:

  • Streamline planning. When you plan in stages, you only need to produce detailed plans for the next stage.
  • Manage risks. You can identify and mitigate risks at any point and, if necessary, stop the project.
  • Engage stakeholders. Open dialogue ensures you engage all stakeholders and reaffirm their commitment.
  • Manage expectations. You can evaluate customer satisfaction and meet expectations at each gate.
  • Increase confidence. Everyone becomes more confident that the project is going to be delivered successfully.

When should you hold a gate review?

The simple answer is that you should hold a gate review at the end of each stage or phase of a project.

Part of the project planning process is determining how many phases or stages the project requires. Once you know that, you can plan your gate reviews.

Typically, there are four stages in the project lifecycle:

  • PHASE 1: Project Initiation
  • PHASE 2: Project Planning
  • PHASE 3: Project Execution
  • PHASE 4: Project Close-out

(Sometimes, there may be an initial Idea or Concept phase, making it five in total.)

Who should conduct a gate review?

A gate review needs to be independent of the day-to-day running of the project, so the project manager should not run it.

Ideally, you want a steering committee of independent reviewers since they will conduct a more rigorous review.

Simply stated, a steering committee is an advisory group of high-level members with a stake in the business.

A steering committee typically includes C-level executives and managers of departments involved in the project. But it can also have:

  • Senior project and program professionals within your organization
  • Executives or professionals from a different department
  • Executives or professionals outside of your organization

The main criterion is that they have sufficient seniority, experience, and time to conduct an effective review.

How to conduct a gate review

Every organization will develop its own gate review process. However, a typical gate review includes the following steps:

  • Setup. Adopt the terms of reference for the Review Team and agree on review dates with the Project Manager.
  • Planning. The Review Team plans the gate review and introduces or updates members on the state of the project.
  • Preparation. The Review Team reviews the evidence submitted by the Project Manager and prepares questions.
  • Meeting. The Review Team discusses the evidence and questions the Project Manager and Project Sponsor. (And possibly other key project team members.) The Review Team confirms that:
  1. The project is running correctly.
  2. Resources are available for the next phase.
  3. The organization is ready to move forward with the project.
  • Report. The Review Team prepares its findings and issues the report to the Project Sponsor and Project Manager. (There may be an opportunity to comment and revise a draft report.)

Following these steps, the Project Sponsor and Project Manager discuss the appropriate next steps. If everything goes well, the project will proceed to the next stage, as planned.

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How to manage a gate review and all other aspects of your project with monday.com

The monday.com Work OS is a sleek, flexible platform that helps you track and manage all aspects of your project, including gate reviews and much more. With monday.com you can plan projects from start to finish and ensure everyone is on board.

Let’s break it down:

Use a ready-made project template

Bring deadlines, stakeholders, budgets, and more together in one place with our Single Project Template. Plan, manage, and track every project phase, so nothing slips between the cracks.

What is a gate review in project management? (2)

Customize your board with columns

Drag and drop 30+ column types – from due dates and timelines to status and people columns – to customize your project workflows. Create groups related to project stages to keep everything and everyone on track.

What is a gate review in project management? (3)

Visualize project progress

Visualize and understand the flow of all project phases with different views, such as Gantt, Kanban, charts, and timelines. Use colors to denote statuses – perfect for gate review meetings.

What is a gate review in project management? (4)

Automate routine tasks

Reduce time spent on manual tasks by automating routine workflows. For example, send emails when due dates arrive and receive real-time notifications when tasks are completed – focus on the work that matters.

What is a gate review in project management? (5)

Choose from loads of automations or create your own with monday.com Work OS, like:

  • When priority changes to high, move item to group high priority
  • When status changes to done, create an update
  • When due date arrives, notify item subscribers

Centralize project tasks in one place

Continue working with your existing tools on your project board with monday.com’s impressive array of integrations. For example, integrate:

  • Gmail – Turn emails into action items to track and manage inside monday.com
  • Dropbox – Attach, share, and preview stored files from within monday.com
  • Jira – Convert Jira issues into manageable tasks within monday.com

What is a gate review in project management? (6)

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Frequently asked questions

Here are three frequently asked questions about gate reviews.

What are gates in project management?

Project management gates are decision points where an independent review team or the steering committee formally reviews the project’s current state and decides whether to continue.

What is a stage gate?

A project management stage gate divides large projects into stages with gates between them. It’s ideal for large projects involving multiple teams and stakeholders. The steering committee decides whether to proceed at each stage gate.

What is a phase gate?

A project management phase gate is a decision point at the end of each phase in a project. The traditional phase gate process has five phases with four gates. The phases are:

  1. Scoping
  2. Build business case
  3. Development
  4. Testing and validation
  5. Launch

A phase gate can lead to one of five possible results: go, kill, hold, recycle, or conditional go.

What is a gate review in project management? (7)

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Manage your gate reviews with monday.com

A gate review is a checkpoint that governs whether a project can proceed to the next phase. It’s an integral part of the project management lifecycle overseen by an independent review team or steering committee and recorded in your project management software.

Try monday.com to see how easy it is to manage gate reviews at each stage of your projects.

What is a gate review in project management? (2024)

FAQs

What is a gate review in project management? ›

A gate review is a checkpoint that governs whether the project can proceed or not. As a formal governance step, it confirms the project team completed the required processes and tasks, and that the project is worth continuing.

What are gate reviews in project management? ›

A gate review is a checkpoint that governs whether the project can proceed or not. As a formal governance step, it confirms the project team completed the required processes and tasks, and that the project is worth continuing.

What does gate mean in project management? ›

Each Stage (or phase) is bookended by a Gate – hence the name. The gate is a review and key decision-making part of the project. It's especially useful for large projects with multiple departments and stakeholders involved.

What is the purpose of a gateway review? ›

Gateway review points

A series of Gate 0 reviews are carried at the start of the programme, during programme delivery, and at programme close. This Review investigates the direction and planned outcomes of the programme, together with the progress of its constituent projects. It can be applied to any type of programme.

What are the typical steps for a gate review? ›

A successful gate review usually consists of the following components:
  • Establishing the Process. The first thing you need to do is establish the process. ...
  • Planning Meeting. ...
  • Evidence submission. ...
  • Gate Meeting. ...
  • Inputs: ...
  • Criteria. ...
  • Outputs: ...
  • Readiness-Check:
Jun 8, 2023

What are the goals of gate review? ›

Through gate reviews, you can align your projects with your business strategy and objectives, validate assumptions and hypotheses using data and feedback, identify and address potential risks and issues, monitor project performance and outcomes, and effectively communicate and collaborate with your team and ...

What is the purpose of a gate? ›

Gates may prevent or control the entry or exit of individuals, or they may be merely decorative. The moving part or parts of a gateway may be considered "doors", as they are fixed at one side whilst opening and closing like one.

What are the 5 stages of the stage gate process? ›

These gates play an important role, as they help to remove ideas that are not feasible or competitive. The stage-gate process includes five stages: scope, business case, develop, test and validate, and launch.

What is the stage gate review agenda? ›

The Stage Gate process—also called the phase gate process—is a methodology that improves project outcomes and prevents risk by adding gates, or areas for review, throughout your project plan. This framework is most commonly used for product development projects, but it is useful for any complex project.

What is a gate 4 review? ›

This Gate Review investigates the organisation's readiness to make the transition from the specification/solution to implementation and to 'go live'. Where appropriate it will assess the capabilities of delivery partners and service providers. Whether there is a basis for evaluating ongoing performance.

What are the stages of a gateway review? ›

Gate 1: Concept and feasibility. Gate 2: Business case. Gate 3: Readiness for market. Gate 4: Tender decision.

What is a gated review? ›

Review gating is the process of asking for customer feedback and directing those with positive feedback to leave a public review.

Why is project gating important? ›

Project gates effectively “open” or “close” the path leading to a subsequent project phase. Gates also provide an opportunity to assess the quality of work to date and to alter the course of the project and take remedial actions as necessary.

What is the gate process in PMP? ›

The phase-gate process provides a structured approach to project management that involves dividing projects into distinct stages, with each stage marked by a gate review.

What are the 4 key outcomes of a gate meeting? ›

If the process – whether it's traditional Stage-Gate or Agile-Stage-Gate – is executed effectively, gate meetings serve as decision-making forums where projects meet with one of four potential fates: go, kill, hold, and recycle.

What is the difference between stage review and gate review? ›

2) Stage reviews are similar to progress reviews. They occur, mostly, during definition and the aim is to review progress against the plan. Unlike the gate review, the intention is for the project to continue. The review checks current progress and identifies any corrective actions.

What is the difference between gate review and design review? ›

Gate reviews are taken place after many design reviews are completed successfully with all action items completed before meeting with the executives and project stakeholders.

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