How to have an awesome project kick-off meeting — Episode 23

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hey there welcome back to project

management made easy today we're going

to be talking about how you can have the

best kickoff meeting ever so let's get

to it the success of a project is often

dependent on its launch all the planning

you do leads up to that exact moment

just like a rocket taking off into space

it's all systems go and liftoff now some

people might think sending an email is

good enough for liftoff are you kidding


can you imagine if control center just

sent an email that said ok you can

launch the rocket now thanks not very

exciting is it so lesson number one

don't send an email have a kickoff

meeting a kickoff meeting predetermines

the clarity of the goals you set and the

dedication of your team indirectly it

also defines a number of problems you're


if you decide not to hold it or hold it

an unprofessional way it also helps to

build important relationships and allows

time for team members to get to know

each other

Andy Graham the founder and president of

Big C design has a great approach that

she recommends for hosting a great

kickoff meeting first let's talk about

introductions often than not there will

be new faces in the room so it's a great

idea to go around and get to know each

other I usually like to ask for their

name and the role in the company as well

as maybe a favorite hobby next you want

to talk about process this is your

chance to discuss the project roadmap

and review any documents that were

previously distributed to the team this

is where you can also discuss or demo

the tools that you'll be using to manage

the project and communicate after you

talk about process you want to discuss

the goals at this point you can open up

the floor to questions and conversation

to get the ball rolling Graham suggests

that you have some questions and answers

prepare beforehand things you might want

to answer are what is the point of this

project or what is the intended outcome

have we done similar projects like this

one before and what did we learn from

them this part is really an opportunity

for you to

discuss the goals of the project and to

make sure everyone has a good idea of

what's going on and why they're doing it

next you want to get to the good stuff

the brainstorming and ideation session

this is something that you don't see

often at meetings Johan Lehrer describes

the importance of a diverse group in

participating in the ideation session an

example of a communication activity

would be something like this game called

collective lines where you send around a

single piece of paper plus a list of

what they're drawing and each person has

one minute to draw and see what sort of

hilarious artwork you come up with at

the end the idea is to get the creative

juices flowing in order to get to the

real brainstorming next you want to talk

about risks have a straight-up

no-bullshit conversation about the

problems that may arise and how you

intend to deal with them talk about

steps team members can take to minimize

those risks finally you want to talk

about dates and milestones make sure you

express your team that the timelines are

not yet set in stone but give them an

idea of when they can expect things from

you and when you would like to expect

things from them more than anything have

an open mind when going into a kickoff

meeting and be ready to make changes

have fun and make it more of a

collaborative meeting rather than

something where you pull people into a

room just to give them instructions good

luck so that's it for kickoff meetings

next week we're going to be talking

about how you can get your team to

really pay attention during meetings see

you then