Gates don’t accelerate

Many companies use a product development process that includes a series of gates.  At each gate they conduct a gate review to determine whether the product is ready for the next phase of development; if not they send it back for more due diligence or use the gate review as a “bail-out” decision point and cancel further investment in the project.

I’ll make a simple observation from life – Gates don’t accelerate.  If you take a stroll across the English countryside, every time you come to a gate it will slow you down, not accelerate your pace.  You’ll have to open the gate while wondering whether you really have the rights to enter the next pasture or field.  If you determine that you have authorization to proceed, you’ll take time as a good neighbor to close the gate behind you.  If there is a gatekeeper present, you’ll have to engage in a conversation with them to sell them on your right to keep moving forward.  This may be an enjoyable chat and may give the gatekeeper the chance to warn you about the angry bull in the next field, but it won’t speed up your stroll.

Gates in a product development process are still gates.  They don’t accelerate good thinking.  They don’t trigger innovation.  They don’t create value!  They slow you down while you prepare the work products that are required to convince the gatekeepers to let you pass through at the gate review.  From my experience, they take the focus off of good thinking and shift it to good writing or good slidemanship.

If you want speed and innovation, focus on the thinking that creates value.  Focus on the decisions between the gates.

Ditch the gates! Focus on the value-creating decision patterns available within the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF). Get started today by contacting the Decision Driven® Solutions team at or to start your free trial of DDSF.

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
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