Programme Governance Model

Copyright © Peter Wheelhouse 2014


Gate 0 Entry and Exit Criteria

1.  Overview.

Recognition of need for significant business change.


The Programme Sponsor designate will usually have been appointed prior to Gate 0 and will have been instrumental in defining the Scope for the Programme, in the form of the Authority to Proceed (Gate 0), and, with key members of the Corporate Executive, selecting & assigning the proposed Programme Board members.

2.  Purpose of Gate Review.

To assure the Corporate Executive that:


  1. The Scope for the proposed programme is properly articulated in line with Corporate Aims & Aspirations and is aligned to the Corporate Business Strategy.
  2. The key governance & management resources have been identified, are available and are committed to the programme.

3.  Previous Stage Exit Criteria.

(sometimes refererred to as the Gate 0 Entry Criteria).


There is no previous programme stage and therefore no specific programme related exit criteria for a previous stage.


However, there should be some corporate criteria that should be satisifed in order to enter Gate 0. This will vary by organisation but the types of thing that need to be in existence are a Corporate Mission Statement, a Corporate Business Strategy, a strong desire by the Corporate Executive to add significant value and / or realise significant business benefits through a major change initiative.


It is also important that the Corporate Executive understands, at least at a high level, the demands that will be placed on the business by adopting a formal programme structure to deliver the needed transformation.

4.  Identify the Programme Entry Criteria.

(sometimes refererred to as the Gate 0 Exit Criteria).


  1. The scope of the programme has been properly & fully articulated, as far as is possible at this early stage, conformant to Corporate Business Strategy.
  2. Programme Board and Programme Sponsor identified and available for appointment.
  3. The Programme Sponsor accepts the Authority to Proceed (Gate 0) as a clear & complete definition of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the programme.

5.  Next Steps.

There are 3 options for Next Steps:


  1. Programme Identification Stage Authorised. If the Corporate Executive is satisfied that both the Exit & Entry Criteria have been properly satisfied, the 1st stage of the programme (Identify the Programme) will be authorised to proceed. The Programme Sponsor & Programme Board will be formally appointed. The output from the Gate 0 Review for this option will be the:

  3. Referred for Rework & Resubmission. If the Corporate Executive is not satisfied that both the Exit & Entry Criteria have been properly satisfied but is convinced of the need for the programme, the Programme Sponsor will be directed to review the programme scope and the programme board and to make such changes as may be needed for resubmission.
  4. Business Change Initiative Rejected. If the Corporate Executive is not satisfied that there is a need for the Business Change that the programme was to deliver, the submission will be rejected and no further investment made in it.

Note: How the Corporate Executive Board decides on the Next Steps and whether it is by unanimous, majority or chairís directive will depend on the specific organisation and upon its corporate governance rules.

6.  Audit Trail.

It is imperative for proper governance that the proceedings and decision of the Gate 0 review are minuted, including particularly any dissenting opinions with regard to decisions taken, and that these minutes are securely stored for future reference.


It is possible that some of the minutes may be highly sensitive and may be subject to strict confidentiality constraints, which may exclude even Programme Board members from seeing them in their entirity, but the Programme Sponsor will need to be of sufficient seniority & clearance to be privy to the unredacted minutes.


If the minutes are too highly sensitive for wider access, the Corporate Executive will need to decide whether a redacted version of the minutes should be made available or whether the Authority to Proceed (Gate 0) is sufficient in its own right to fully articulate the Corporate Boardís intent for the programme.

Programme Gateways and Lifecycle