Decision Gate (glossary)

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(1) A decision gate is an approval event (often associated with a review meeting). Entry and Exit criteria are established for each decision gate; continuation beyond the decision gate is contingent on the agreement of the decision-makers. (INCOSE 2011 p 362)

(2) A preplanned management event in the project cycle to demonstrate accomplishments, approve and baseline results, and approve the approach for continuing the project. (Also known as a control gate.) (Forsberg 2005, p 428)


(1) INCOSE. 2011. Systems Engineering Handbook, version 3.2.2. INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03.2.2.

(2) Forsberg, K., H. Mooz, H. Cotterman. 2005. Visualizing Project Management, 3rd Ed., Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley and Sons.


(1) The definition provided in the INCOSE Handbook is built on the language in ISO/IEC 15288:2015. Consequently it is at a high level of abstraction.

(2) The definition in "Visualizing Project Management" is tied to the project cycle and the project management issues related to it. The intent is to bring the systems engineering activities into the project context.

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