A PHASE GATE is a process and not a checkpoint
New Product Definition and Introduction(NPDI) is the process of bringing a new product or service to market. A key ingredient to a NPDI is the stage gate model.
A stage-gate model is a technique in which a (product, process, system) development process is divided into stages separated by gates. At each gate, the continuation of the development process is decided by (typically) a manager or a steering committee
A business analyst would promptly explain that the Phase Gate review process is not an isolated and binary task. It is a collaborative and workflow intensive process.
In the current model of the best of the breed NPDI solutions, we have an isolated approach where the portfolio metrics and approval workflow are spread over multiple systems. If a Phase Gate is RED we can find the person responsible but not the reason why the Phase Gate is in bad shape.
The Phase Gate responsible comes up with tons of presentations, metrics which is dug from multiple systems. Result: The Phase Gate has become a source of information leak and a hide-out for erring managers.
How many times has a small mistake at a critical point (Phase Gate) delayed a release or degrade a product quality e.g. AntennaPhase Gatefor IPhone4, etc
Each industry rather every organization has their own business process at the Phase -Gates. Adding to it, each team adds nuances to the process. There is no magic-bean process fit for all.
The premise clearly highlights the need of a business process modeling engine.
For a simple Phase-Gate, such as Development to Production, a lean process model works whereas for a more involved use case, such as calculating Net Profit Value, and Expected Commercial Value, a more involved process engine with the correct statistical capability is needed.
In a nutshell, the stage Phase Gate model needs to delegate the Phase Gate review process to a BPM environment which might talk to stealth systems for calculations.
Also, at each Phase Gate there are multiple approvals needed before it is signed off. There is an inherent workflow at the gate. The BPM tool needs to have a great workflow engine.
Finally, each Phase Gate has intense conversations. It could be captured with a collaboration environment. The NPDI process and the organization can improve over time by reviewing the “RICH” content at the gate.
The intelligence of the crowd at a stage-gate, along with efficient business process tools will cut waste and act as a whistleblower improving NPDI.