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To ensure that new and existing initiatives are meeting their stated goals, the Network has adopted the use of a rigorous but flexible decision-making process termed stage gate. State gate refers to the various decision points (or gates) that a new product or venture must go through in the sequential stages from concept to launch.
The board and management developed this planning tool in 2008 to guide resource allocation according to strategic goals and priorities. Through in-depth discussions with our members, we identified the key principles and criteria that must be examined and scored at each stage of the decision-making process. Stage gate is used to determine whether to pursue new innovations and to launch, modify or exit business lines.
Depending on the level of resource commitment, the decision makers at each stage are management, the Board's Innovations Committee, the Board's Investment and Asset Management Committee or the Board of Directors itself. Major business lines are reviewed individually and as a portfolio to determine overall fit and balance, and adjustments are made to improve performance based on the stage gate assessment.