Phase-end reviews (also called Decision-Point or Gate reviews) look at the product for the main purpose of determining whether to continue with planned activities. In contrast to the checkpoint reviews, which focus on critical success factors, phase-end reviews are more general in nature.
Phase-end reviews are held at the end of each phase, in a formal review format. Defects found are tracked through resolution, usually through a defect-tracking system. Although there may be more, the most common phase-end reviews are listed below. Project status, risks, and non-technical issues are also reviewed.
It is important to note that although the completion of a phase-end review signals the formal beginning of the next phase, subsequent phases may have already been started. In fact, in iterative development methodologies, each analysis or design “package” or segment of the application may be in a different phase of the project simultaneously.
Careful analysis and planning are critical to ensure that the iterations are sequenced appropriately to minimize the risk of a defect found in one iteration causing excessive rework in previous iterations.