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Gatekeepers play an important role in the Stage/Phase Gate process. They are the decision-makers that make important project decisions based on strategically driven criteria. It is best practice to have gatekeepers vary based on the stage of the new product development process. Executive gatekeepers should be involved early in the new product development process when strategic alignment is of the utmost importance. Since the tasks are more tactical in nature during the Development through Launch stage/phase, it is appropriate for non-executive gatekeepers to monitor the projects during these stages in the process.