How to host a successful project kickoff meeting

The project kickoff meeting will be one of the most important meetings that a team will hold. It establishes the expectations for the project, who is involved, what the scope of the work is, and when tasks will be completed. The initial meeting sets the foundation on which the final project deliverables are built, tested, approved, and then released.
No matter how big your team is, how much money you have, or how many hours you have left in your project plan, the better your ability to manage your team at kickoff will be.
Continue reading: 7 Ways to Make Project Management Meetings More Productive
Table of Contents
Anatomy of a Project Kickoff meeting
Types of Project Kickoff meetings
Remote Teams: Project Kickoff Meetings
8 Tips to Host Successful Project Kickoff Meetings
Anatomy of a Project Kickoff meeting
The project kickoff meeting should have the same anatomy, regardless of whether it is for a digital solution, a complex technical build or a physical one. These should be included in every kickoff meeting:
Introduction of all key team members.
Review of the proposal detailing the project’s technical and creative goals.
Walkthrough of the timeline
Review of the RAID (risks and assumptions, issues, and dependencies).
Discussion on the assets, including what is currently available and what is required
Overview of the approval process, including legal & regulatory reviews
Explanation of the process for changing project orders
List of collaboration tools
Next steps, upcoming meetings and status reports
Time for Q&A
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Types of Project Kickoff meetings
There are many types of project kickoff meetings that can be held within your company. Although not all of them are necessary for every project they may be helpful in getting things started.
A pre-kickoff meeting may be necessary. This is where you meet up with a key member of your team or a smaller group of leads to review and prepare for the client kickoff meeting. This is a chance to ask questions and get answers for a smooth project start.
An internal project kickoff meeting is a meeting where your organization meets before a client or vendor kickoff meeting. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and asks the right questions to start a project.
After meeting with your internal stakeholders it is time for a client project kickoff meeting. This is a secondary kickoff, which introduces the client’s team and your organization to the client.
If multiple parties are involved in a project, a kickoff meeting with a vendor is also important. They could be the partner responsible for designing visuals, writing copy and developing code. They will need to be able to see how their role fits into the overall project, what they are doing, and when.
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Remote Teams: Project Kickoff Meetings
Sometimes a project requires a remote team. Although it is desirable to have all members of the team in the same place, this is not always possible. This arrangement presents a unique challenge to project managers trying to keep their team members in sync.
People are now able to work remotely more effectively than ever before. It is important to keep remote team members engaged, informed, productive, responsive, and informed. Remote teams can be localized, such as when an office moves virtual or uses a hybrid method (with people coming to and going on different days or weeks). Your team could also be geographically distributed across time zones, countries or continents.
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