The kick off meeting
So you’re working on a new project and so far you have produced your SMART project goals and you’re pulling together your project team. Step 3 of #CTProjectStartup is to hold a kick-off meeting. You may find you’re using systems like Skype or gotomeeting.com, especially if you’re working with a remote project team. Whatever the format, know that the kick off meeting is an essential step in your project management process. It’s your opportunity as the Project Manager to practice pitching your project and ‘practice makes perfect’. You may get a range of challenging questions, but this is a good thing as it ensures clarity and focus, so be prepared.
Working with a team from diverse backgrounds, with a range of skill and expertise will help to unlock creativity and innovation. As you are forming your project team, individuals are getting to know each other and will need clarity in terms of roles and responsibilities. Make sure you set a clear agenda for this meeting, so everyone knows what to expect.
What do you need to share with your project team?
Firstly, you want to share the research you gathered so far. If you have completed a feasibility study you can share your insights on this too. The research demonstrates why this project is a great idea and the feasibility study will give a strong indication as to whether your project will solve the problems you’ve identified.
Secondly, you need to show that you understand some of the risks associated with your project. Having this conversation will show that you have set a realistic goal. It is also a good opportunity to work out how you can mitigate or eliminate the potential risks with your team.
Thirdly, before you start to implement your project, you need to agree and set your key project milestones. You will already have a fair idea of what the milestones are and having your teams input is a collaborative way of working. Your team will know they are contributing to the project plans in a meaningful way.
What’s your experience of these project kick-off meeting, is it a hit or a miss?