Whether working on a medium or a big project, forgetting the smallest thing can have a massive impact. There is no rocket science in initiating the project team management properly. But then, if you or your team goes off the track even slightly at the beginning, it can affect the outcome of your project. Simply put, a beginning of the project or a project kickoff can determine the success of every project. In a way, a project kickoff meeting is your chance to ensure the success of the project by keeping the entire team on the same page.
In this blog, we are going to discuss the core purpose of a project kickoff meeting and the basic principles of running a successful kickoff meeting. Let’s start with the objective.
Main Purpose of Project Kickoff Meeting
The core objective of a project kickoff meeting is to consider all the necessary aspects of your project including its scope, responsibilities, proposed schedule, and other assumptions related to the process. The project kickoff meeting between your team and either the client or stakeholders can drive your project toward success. Once your company and the client are agreed upon the scope of your project, budget, and duration.
The goal of a project kickoff meeting is to get all stakeholders or clients feeling motivated. However, it is fair to mention that all kickoff meetings and projects do not run the same way. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the type of project on hand, stakeholders, overall approach, and your role. A project tracker tool can help you manage the project effectively, but here we will go through some important concepts for running effective kickoff meetings.
Basics of Successful Project Kickoff Meeting
Let’s find out an answer to a primary question- how can we start a kickoff meeting? While beginning a project kickoff meeting, as a project manager, you need to ensure that every team member and stakeholder give their contribution. It is better to ask a few key questions related to each other’s role, familiarity with the project’s scope and deliverables, and understanding the importance of the project for meeting the company’s goals and vision at large.
Even in a small or mid-sized company, it is possible that you need to team up with people who have never worked together before. Therefore, it is necessary that all team members know each other before initiating the project kickoff meeting. Usually, team leaders start the meeting by introducing everyone. Let’s dig deep into the discussion phase of such meetings.
Top Points to be Discussed in Project Kickoff Meeting
Every project has unique requirements and challenges. Discussion topics are based on the type and size of a project. Some of the key aspects of a project kickoff meeting include-
The project summary is an outline of what is being done. A high-level summary includes every aspect necessary to keep the team, stakeholders, and clients on the same page. A project summary needs a focused approach and careful attention to every detail of the project. Therefore, the project kickoff meeting initiates with discussing the summary.
Context and client requirements play a central role in any project kickoff meeting. The project management software can assist you with showing past projects and other necessary information. But, as a team leader, you need to spend some time understanding the clients and their requirements.
The next important point is the scope of a project. Though the project’s scope and deliverables have been decided earlier and recorded in the project proposal, it is necessary to discuss them in a project kickoff meeting. It helps project managers or team leaders ensure that every team member has an idea of the scope of the project. It is also possible to discuss potential risks and issues for a specific project in such meetings.
As a project manager, it is your responsibility to make the most of available resources and maintain a subtle balance between the project needs and the deadline. A project tracker tool can assist you in delegating tasks as per the diverse skills of your team members. This can be the deciding factor in meeting the deadlines successfully. Once roles and responsibilities are defined, milestones can be easily achieved.
How to accomplish the project is another key thing to consider. Your team and clients should remain on the same page when it comes to the approach of working on the project. It is, therefore, imperative to discuss how things will work and the team handles the changes or challenges in the meeting.
Teamwork and collaboration are the main pillars for completing the project on time. One of the greatest challenges for project managers is to keep every team member informed and together all the time. Here, a project management tool remains handy as every team member can see the progress of the team with the real-time status of other members. You can discuss and decide the tool in the meeting for ensuring efficient teamwork.
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7. Milestones & Q&As
A project kickoff meeting does not go deep into the insights of task management. But, it considers milestones, deadlines, and schedules for making decisions. Team managers can also discuss and keep Plan B ready for the project. Team members can also ask questions to know more about the ins and outs of the project.
In a nutshell, a project kickoff meeting is an important initial step in any project. It can assist team leaders or project managers to kickstart the project with positive energy and enthusiasm from the entire team. We are certain that the above-mentioned points and a robust team task management tool will assist you to run a successful project kickoff meeting.
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