▪ Only certain projects are possible to divide into phases.
▪ It may be counter productive to divide a project into
▪ For example: if it is possible for activities to overlap, then
there is no point on waiting to get started solely because of
▪ The completion of a phase almost always results in a
▪ Even if a project is not divided into phases it is worth
identifying ‘significant events’ to label milestones
▪ Milestones can be used to measure project success.
▪ A good milestone should leave no doubt as to whether it
has passed or not.
▪ A milestone should be:
▪ The best milestones do not need further definition
The Stage-Gate Process:
▪ This is a process that many companies implement to
ensure project success.
▪ It’s theory is that at the end of each project ‘phase’ the
project will be reviewed.
▪ If the project does not pass this review then the project will
be investigated or even prevented from continuing.
Note: an efficient Stage-Gate model should not have more than 6 gates. This is because the project
team may end up concentrating on the gate reviews more than on the project itself.
▪ Allows for early identification of issues or project failures.
▪ Can allow the company to save resources.
▪ The process provides structure to the project process
▪ Helps prevent project team members pursuing personal interests or
goal, or ‘pet-projects’ emerging.
▪ ‘Gatekeepers’, who review the project, can be reluctant to close the
▪ This can have great impact on a company’s reputation or share price.
▪ As mentioned before, Stage-Gate can become counter-productive if
more than 6 gates are in place.
▪ The process can also result in low morale, as project team members
may feel that it is likely the project may be stopped.
▪ Read up on the failed NHS IT Project:
▪ Also, consider the Edinburgh Tram Project.
Do you think that this project should have been closed a long time ago?
This is potentially a good example of a project that was not worth the
‘agro’ of cancelling.
Sources and Further Reading:
▪ Kerzner, H. (2009) Project Management, New Jersey: John Wiley &
Sons, 10th edn.
– Chapter 2.12
▪ Maylor,H. (2003) Project Management, Essex: Pearson Education
Limited, 3rd edn.
– Chapter 4
▪ Fiiled, M. and Keller, M. (1998), Croatia: Thomson Learning
– Chapter 3