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Gate Reviews
By John Filicetti

A Gate Review provides a mechanism for management review and approval of project deliverables, artifacts, and milestones and the approval for the project to move to the next phase or stage or to deem the project is worthy of continuation and the associated risks are manageable. It also provides a framework for better project management and to provide correct and relevant information for business decisions.

One of the best practices for effective gate review management is to provide a checklist of phase deliverables/milestones to your Gate Review Board (GRB) at a set time prior to the gate review. The GRB members are asked to review the project deliverables and other items on the checklist for compliance to process and company standards and make comments or approve as needed. The goal is to come to the Gate Review meeting prepared to vote with minimal discussion. Each project review should be limited to 5 minutes to allow the GRB to do other duties during the meeting such as reviewing project prioritization and selection.

The GRB conducting the reviews usually stays constant across all projects to bring consistency to the review process and to maintain a comparative perspective among projects so they better recognize the good projects and the projects are in trouble. This multi-functional management team often consists of vice-president or director level personnel across multiple divisions or departments. This team might be made up of the same members as the Product Steering Committee or Product Committee managing the development pipeline and establishing project priorities.

John F. Filicetti, PMP, MBA
John Filicetti is a Sr. Sales Engineer/PM-PMO-PPM Consultant with a great depth of experience and expertise in enterprise project management, project management methodologies, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Project Management Offices (PMOs), Governance, process consulting, and business management. John has directed and managed project management teams, created and implemented methodologies and practices, provided project management consulting, created and directed PMOs, and created consulting and professional services in such areas as project portfolio management, Governance, business process re-engineering, network systems integration, application development, infrastructure, and complex environments. John has enjoyed many years as PMO Director for large corporations in the Seattle area and leads the PMO Roundtable discussion group and forum.

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