Many organisations have a defined project life cycle with gate reviews. In a gate review the project team and sponsor present progress against criteria defined by the project life cycle to a steering group. And the group decides whether the project can pass through the gate.
Gate reviews do not seek buy-in. If you need to engage your stakeholders, you must do so before the review. Gate reviews exist to protect the business from poor projects. If the steering group believes the project is not delivering its goals, it may cancel or pause the project.
I deplore meetings for the sake of meetings. The following reviews bring value to a project, when used appropriately:
- Project Evaluation Review – considers the management of the project and its likely technical success.
- Audit – reviewing a project systematically against the requirements of a standard or procedure.
- Post-Project Review – generates lessons learnt and good practice for future projects.
- Benefits realisation review – confirms the realisation of benefits.