Phase Gate Process
The separating of a project's tasks into phases interspersed by
reviews has been around for donkey's years, which is about right given
that they can live for 50 or 60 years, as a phased approach was used in
the Apollo space programme in the 1960s
In fact before then a phased process was used for building chemical
plants in the 1950s and in 1958, the American Association of Cost
Engineers created four standard cost estimate type classifications to
match these development and approval phases.
The idea of splitting projects into phases took hold and spread until
it became the standard way of organising projects across many fields of
endeavour. Both the early examples were major engineering projects and
so the project focus was on the engineering aspects.
However the Stage-Gate®
process introduced by Bob Cooper in 1986 suggested when the project was
the development of a new product, it made sense to include marketing
activities as well as engineering ones.
Around the same time the idea of Concurrent or Simultaneous
Engineering, whereby manufacturing considerations were included in the
design phase, was beginning to take hold, following Japanese practice as
published by Imai, Nonaka and Takeuchi.
Nowadays, the terms 'Stage-Gate' and 'Phase-Gate' are often used
synonymously, or sometimes 'Phase-Gate' may be used as a more generic
term rather than the trademarked term 'Stage-Gate'. Some people think
that it is a bureaucratic process that is only suitable for larger
companies but nowadays the emphasis is on lightweight flexible
processes, that are tailored to each companies needs, making it a
realistic, even essential, process for SME's to have in their armoury.
Stage-Gate® is a registered trademark of Stage-Gate Inc.
For further information, please contact us,
and we will do our best to help.