Reviews - Overview | PMQ D1.10a
Reviews - Overview | PMQ D1.10a

This video explains the importance of built-in reviews and their role in project management.


- For projects to succeed, they need to have built-in formal reviews of the project deliverables, the business case and the project management process. There are different types of reviews and we'll go into some detail on each of them in this video. First up, a decision gate. According to the APM, this is "a point in the lifecycle between phases that is used review and confirm the viability of the work in line with the business case." The purpose of decision gates is to review and to confirm the viability of the work across the chosen lifecycle. In a linear lifecycle, decision gates are event driven, happening at the end of a phase of work. In the case of an iterative lifecycle, they are time bound because the work is defined by the amount of time available. Many projects or programs adopt a hybrid lifecycle with a combination of main decision gates at the end of major phases of work, supplemented by interim review points to reflect the iterative nature of the development. Aside from viability confirmation, decision gates can be used for quite a few other reasons. These include demonstrating that the correct level of governance and assurance is being applied, communicating progress, and gaining and maintaining the commitment of stakeholders, highlighting risk, and raising and escalating issues, triggering the release of funds, and of course triggering an early termination of the project if necessary. Because there are quite a few different people involved in any decision gate, there are different responsibilities associated with them. The project manager is responsible for making sure the project is ready for a decision gate. The PMO might assist with logistics and getting support documentation ready. The project sponsor or the governance board will need to make the decision on whether to carry on with the work or not, and subject matter experts might also have some input. To prepare for a decision gate, there are four key questions you'll need to be able to answer to make sure you are prepared for the gate. These questions are, "What has been achieved?", "What is required for the next stage?", "What are the key decisions to be made?", and "Is the business case still viable?" Okay, so now you know everything you need to prepare for the decision gate and who's responsible for what. Let's move onto the final part of this video and discuss five of the different reviews you might have in your project. The gate review is used to decide if the project should continue on to the next step or not. The stage review is great for evaluating what has been delivered so far and to get and maintain stakeholder buy-in. The post-project review is used to evaluate the project and figure out where it's succeeded as well as learn from where it failed. The benefits review is used to assess how many of the anticipated benefits of the project have been realized. Last up, audits. Audits are great for giving assurance to stakeholders that the agreed project management processes are being followed and that the project will deliver its objectives. And that's it for this video. Throughout any project, there will be different points where reviews need to take place. These decision gates are some of the core pillars for success from a business perspective, and make sure that the investment from an organization is justified on an ongoing basis.

About the Author