Kick off means is to start off anything like a football match, as soon as a player kicks the ball from the center and game starts, it can be a start of a motorbike by kicking it up but here in this article, we are going to discuss all kick-off meeting in Project Management perspective.
A project kickoff meeting is one of the first meetings including all the major stakeholders and the project team including the project manager itself. Client or client representative and the project manager is must to attend the meeting in any case or else there is no use of it at all. They say “The first impression is the last impression” and hence this meeting will say it all that how the project will go on in future.
A project kickoff meeting is held after contract documents are formally signed, overall budgeted cost, timelines for key milestones are finalized.
Normally, a kick-off meeting is held at the start of the project but it can be held at any phase start if required.
Well defined project kick-off meeting agenda will engage the stakeholders on the same page and will help you to cover all points with ease.
Every project is a temporary and unique in nature, hence no formal agenda will apply to all but there are some points that are common in all the kick-off meetings.
First off all is the Introduction of all the majors like the Client, Project manager, Project brief, Overall Scope, WBS but not in detail, the reporting structure-important for communication, major roles, and representative.
Keep in mind it’s all about the introduction only. The project manager needs to explain how he is going to achieve all this and the Client can ask any concerned question.
On average, a core kick-off meeting time is around sixty-60 minutes. The breakdown is ten minutes for Introductions and briefs ten minutes for a client and thirty minutes for Project Manager and the team and last ten minutes for answer & question from every side on any aspect of the project that may be missed earlier or need any clarifications.
In the end, make sure to ask the overall audience present if anything is missed what should have been discussed.
Pitfalls during a Kick-Off
A kick-off meeting is a part & parcel of project success as it sets the tone that how things will go ahead. It will help to unite the team that will improve communication among them.
1. Long Presentations – by Project Manager
If you are the Project manager then make sure to construct your presentation on less than ten slides in any case but it may differ from project to project. Also, make sure to take a print out for all the stakeholders present.
2. All Stakeholders have same Project information – Never!
Stakeholders present on the kickoff meeting have different interest and hence have a different approach to the project. Hence make sure to structure your presentation that you cover all the important topics.
3. Don’t ignore your Team
If you got any question that was not already discussed in your internal kickoff meeting then make sure to get your ream on the same page. Ask them to throw their point of view and that will help you in the longer run. It will create a good impression overall in front of the client.
Everybody is on the same page and understand the overall project after that meeting. You got a nice and clean ground to play with your team. Let the players engage with each other, let them improve their passing, let them dribble – Coach them! Mentor them!
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