‘Gate Control’ is executed at the end of each major stage in the project. This is done by defining certain milestones as gates. Senior organizational representatives are responsible to be the ‘Gate Keepers’; they must authorize the advance of the project to the next stage.
The Gate Keeper must evaluate the progress of the project and its status and then decide on one of the following four possible courses of action:
The Gate Keeper acts as the client’s representative in the project and, as such, must maintain the client’s interests throughout while involving the client whenever necessary.
The number of milestones that act as gates depends on the size and the level of uncertainty of the project. However, it is considered best practice to have at least two such gates in order to provide possible exit points from the project and guarantee that continuing work on it is the smartest investment for the client. The central milestones were already defined in the project lifecycle table. The gates should be picked from among these existing milestones. The same types of gates can be used more than once across a number of similar projects within an organization. This would have the added bonus of uniformity and specialization in the process of approving gates in future projects.
Projects that implement a Gate system are far more likely to make the right decision regarding whether to cancel a project in a timely manner or not, whereas projects without Gate systems are more likely to invest in a project that was better off canceled.