Consider an organization’s project management department and its project management methodology. Currently, all projects only have checkpoints at the beginning and end of the project with informal reviews that are scattered randomly throughout the project life cycle. Unfortunately, several important projects managed by this group did not meet stakeholder expectations on the deliverables and outcomes.
An analysis of the department’s approach to project governance indicated that the projects failed to meet expectations because there was no structured approach to monitoring project progress and mitigating risks and issues proactively. After this determination, the project management group began a redesign of its project management approach to incorporate a phase-gate model.
The phase-gate approach to project management is an effective governance method that reduces project risk.
It is a structured approach to advancing a project through predefined phases (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing). For each phase, there are specific criteria to evaluate project progress, risk, and executional quality. It also focuses on keeping stakeholders engaged in the project review process.
In a phase-gate model, evaluation criteria are applied at each project phase. Project managers gather inputs from the project work, and as project activities are completed, deliverables are produced as outputs. Formal meetings with project stakeholders and sponsors occur regularly and serve as official review points. After review, a decision is made as to whether a project should continue, stop, or pause.
This approach, when implemented following the steps above, ensures that multiple checkpoints are in place to control for risky and ensure no project becomes too risky or gains momentum too quickly.
In the Accenture Academy courses Phase-Gate Model for Project Risk Management, Phase-Gate Model Criteria Requirements, Phase-Gate Model Risk Mitigation by Project Phase, and Phase-Gate Model Stakeholder Engagement and Input you will discover the approach, structure, and benefits of adopting a phase-gate approach to managing project risk. You will find that adopting a phase-gate approach to managing project risk leaves you well-positioned for effective project progress, informed stakeholders, and high-quality project outcomes.