Stage-Gate Discipline and Clear Venture Ownership Drives Improved Capital Portfolio Performance

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Context and Challenge

  • A leading producer of petrochemicals, focused on growth with a venture capital portfolio of $3.7B

  • The executives were not satisfied with the portfolio performance, specifically with venture governance and major projects passing through stage gates without clear business goals and return on investment criteria

  • Issues with the governance structure included:

    • The venture steering team lacked a clear purpose

    • The team had multiple representatives from each major function with unclear roles and responsibilities

    • There were blurred lines of accountability for the business objectives for each venture

    • There was a lack of clear decision making authority and decision making processes for each stage gate



  • A cross-functional team of business function vice presidents was mobilized to work on improving overall governance

  • Through a series of workshops and focus groups, the team redefined the charter for the Steering Team with a clear purpose, required functional representation and their roles, accountabilities and expected behaviors. This resulted in a major change in the Steering Team membership

  • Meeting guidelines, documentation requirements and decision making processes were improved and practiced for each stage gate

  • This approach enabled the new Steering Team to openly discuss and challenge inputs to the business case and each stage gate decision allowing only the highest ROI projects to move forward

Evolve have demonstrated that consultants with the right skills and approach can really teach us something, and leave behind real long-term value.
— Delivery Unit Manager
ChemicalsCorey Wills