How to Run an Effective Project Kickoff Meeting - Docket

How to Run an Effective Project Kickoff Meeting

This post is part of our series on The 5 Types of Work Meetings.

When it comes to starting a new project, you need to make sure that you make a strong first impression to make sure that you inspire confidence in your project team. On the other hand, when it comes to a project kickoff meeting, you might be looking to make an impactful first impression. There are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that you get your team excited about the upcoming project.

What Is a Project Kickoff Meeting?

The first step in the project lifecycle is introducing the project via a project kickoff meeting. The project leader usually runs a project kickoff meeting script, and it is their job to handle the project kickoff meeting presentation. First on the Docket are discussions related to the project’s goals, objectives, expectations, and responsibilities, both internal and external, with the team members and the stakeholders. The project leader will also be reviewing the general concept of the project, as well as the constraints of the project. Remember that the project kickoff meeting’s purpose is to convince the team members and stakeholders of the project that this is a worthy venture.

Project Kickoff Meeting Checklist

For those wondering, “what should a project kickoff meeting include?” here is a helpful project meeting checklist. First, all project kickoff meetings should begin with introductions. While this includes introducing the project, this also includes introducing the various members of the team. Be sure to go over all project roles and responsibilities. This should also include internal goals and objectives as well as client goals and expectations. Of note, only projects that face the customer are going to include client goals and expectations. The project kickoff meeting should consist of a list of all relevant deadlines for the project.

These deadlines can be broken up into several parts or milestones that serve as checkpoints for the team members, ensuring everything stays on track. This should also include a helpful review of the deliverables or final result that will be passed to the client. Every team member must know what the end goal is going to be and what is expected of them. If using project management software, this is your first opportunity to record these details in your system(s) of record.

Finally, it is also essential to take any project kickoff questions that the team may have and allow for discussions regarding the project details.

Most importantly, ensure that everyone is as informed as possible when it comes to the project kickoff meeting by distributing information about the project ahead of time. Give everyone time to review these details before the meeting starts.

Avoid Scope Creep

One of the most common questions that people have regarding a project kickoff meeting involves the scope of the project itself. While project scope questions are important, it is good to think about the boundaries of the project kickoff meeting ahead of time.

For example, one of the first full discussions that must take place at the project kickoff meeting is a full definition of what is supposed to be accomplished during the project. Sometimes, it is helpful to approach this boundary by discussing what will not be covered. It is important to set clear expectations ahead of time to make sure that the team is set up for success.

Sometimes, it is helpful to answer a few key questions regarding the scope during the project kickoff meeting. For example, team members should know who the project is for and who the project is not for. They should also be asking themselves what they will be able to do with the time allotted to them. If the team members had unlimited time, what would they like to do with the project? Of course, it is also essential to discuss the budget of the project as well. These are a few of the most important questions that need to be answered during the project kickoff meeting.

A project kickoff meeting is supposed to be an exciting time. Make sure to think about the checklist above and set up the project kickoff meeting for success.

About the Author

Charlie Holcomb

Charlie Holcomb

As Marketing Manager at Docket, Charlie is on a mission to show leaders everywhere how to make meetings awesome. After hours, you can find Charlie enjoying pub trivia, local music, and rugby.
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