On March 18, 2015
The project kick-off meeting is an event which officially inaugurates the project. It involves members of the steering committee, project team members, and – if possible and reasonable – the key stakeholders of the project.
Usually, the kick-off takes place at the end of the planning phase, just before the project execution. However, some planning tasks may be treated as part of the execution, or some work may already be realized at the time when kick-off is held. The approach depends on a project and an organization.
There are many ways to conduct this meeting. Usually, the agenda includes official greeting by the Project Sponsor, with a few words about how the project fits into the company’s strategy, how project goals are important to the performing organization, etc.The clue is to underline the project importance and send a signal that this endeavour is noticeable on the top management level.
The main part of the meeting is the presentation of the project done by the project manager. His presentation should be the culmination of the planning work. During the last couple of weeks he and a part of the team have done a hard work to build a good, sensible plan for the project, which will lead the team to success. Now it’s time to start the trip.
Depending on the project and organization, the presentation may include different points. The following issues shouldn’t be missed:
project’s organizational context
goals and objectives
product of the project (scope)
steps for the near future
However, the most important part of the presentation concerns project organization, roles and responsibilities, and project’s team members. It’s probable that during the course of the project there won’t be the second chance to gather whole project team in one meeting. If kick-off participants do not know each other in person, its the right time to introduce each other and explain their role and authority.
If possible, after the project manager’s presentation there may be an additional part of the meeting. Here are some ideas:
in case your projects is about deployment of specific IT system – you can organize a brief demo of the system or a case study of the deployment in another organization
if team leaders and other project management team members do not feel strong with the project methodology, you can organize a special methodological workshop where they could get familiar with ground rules and good practices, as well as exercise in practice some feigned project situations
- team building is always a good idea – as the kick-off meeting should be kind of an enthusiasm-generator, it’s a good idea to perform some inspirational activities that will let people feel that they a part of the team