Internal Project Kickoff Checklist
The Project Kickoff Meeting went just great with the client, you put your right foot forward, made a good impression and learned a bunch. What should happen next? I suggest you pass on as much information as possible to your team. So let’s see how to run a good internal kickoff meeting to get the ball rolling.
1. Digitise everything from the Project Kickoff Meeting
In my previous blogpost I suggested to run some exercises with the client to understand their goals and needs. Chances are you did most of these exercises with pen and paper. Go ahead and digitise all the material you have, if you haven’t already. A photo will do, but I prefer reproducing everything in Sketch, but you may use an online tool such as RealtimeBoard.
2. Assemble a team, invite more people
I’m not sure who’s responsible for this in your organisation, but in any case please think of all the competences you will need to deliver this project. Check their availability and make sure they are present on this call. It’s much better to have everyone on board from Day 1, than trying to bring them up to date after a couple of weeks. I’d suggest inviting a superior as well, it’s best if they have background about the project as well.
3. Set a date and send out invitations
Now this is easy, but don’t overlook it. Set up a date at least a couple of days in advance and please make sure everybody is present. Remember you want to do everything right this time. Also you may spread some of the material you digitised in Step 1.
4. Give background about the client
The day has come and you are all set. I’d start by giving some background information about the client. When were they founded? Where is their HQ? How many people work there? What is their agenda? Share some basic information you learned to build some empathy and generate buy-in.
5. Give background about the project
Perhaps this is the reason you are on this meeting: to talk about the project. Try to share as much information as possible, talk about previous projects, as well as the needs and goals of the client. Then open up a discussion: are there any similarities with past projects, what are the potential challenges, what technologies we might use, are there any unkowns? Take note of all question that may arise.
6. Go through any material you produced on the client meetings
This step complements the previous one. Go through any existing research and/or the results of the exercises you ran.
This may be obvious, but try to establish roles and responsibilities at an early stage. Who’s responsible for what and at which stage of the project you will need their work.
8. Project Management
Review the project timeline and deadlines. Try to assign deliverables to the deadlines, and people to the deliverables. Make sure everybody knows what tools you are using to communicate and track progress. Everybody on the project should have access to those tools.
9. Any Other Business
Answer any questions that might have come up during the meeting, ask if anybody has any additional comments or questions.
Together prepare a list of things that need to be done and add these items to your project management platform. Assign all items. Make sure everybody knows what’s next for them. Reassure everybody that you’re within reach anytime they have a question about the project.
Once the meeting is finished, write a summary of all the things discussed and send a followup e-mail to everybody who was present.
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