A project kickoff meeting is one of the most important meetings in a project life cycle. It provides a chance to make early decisions regarding project deliverables. Obviously, all the meetings are important but a kickoff meeting affects the success of the project directly. Because it helps to set the tone, common goals, and the vision to complete the project successfully. Therefore you and your project team need to be prepared, focused, and informed before discussing critical issues with the key project stakeholders. All the participants are excited to discuss the base elements of the project at the beginning, and they are paying close attention to each and every word said during the meeting. So you need to create a kickoff meeting agenda to help you to cover all the critical points of the project before starting. Here below we share a sample project kickoff meeting agenda template.
How to Prepare for Project Kickoff Meeting
The motivation behind a kickoff meeting is to establish the framework for a successful project—it provides a chance to guarantee the stakeholder and the project team are on the same page with the scope, objectives, financial plan, schedule, and everything.
Assembling a kickoff meeting is not just sending emails and bringing people together to discuss. It provides a chance to start an initial discussion to draw a roadmap together with the client. You can eliminate a number of risks in the project management process by preparing for the kickoff meeting.
A well-prepared project kickoff meeting agenda helps teams to stay focused on the key project tasks. Here below we gather up some tips to guide you while preparing for the kickoff meeting.
Set a Time Frame
Set an adequate time frame to allow participants to review the important project details. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you can schedule an hour or more than one hour meeting.
The main goal of a project kickoff meeting is to gather people who will play a significant role in the project. Make sure you invite all the important participants for the project.
Set Meeting Agenda
Setting a complete meeting agenda is key to highlight critical project priorities and milestones. It will help participants to focus on all critical items and see the whole picture. In order to use time effectively during the meeting, you can give a few minutes to each topic depending on its importance.
Take Notes Effectively
Since a project kickoff meeting is a guiding meeting that effects all phases of a project, assigning a note taker is essential to make sure all the critical discussions are recorded. We recommend you to read the following article: How to Take Notes Effectively
What Should be Covered in a Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template?
One of the best practices to start your project in the right way is to create a solid agenda and discuss the critical information that your project team will need. Here below are a few basic elements that should be included in a project kickoff meeting agenda template in order to bring up the meeting’s success.
Introductions is the first section of a project kickoff meeting template. A project may involve multiple companies, business units as well as clients. At the beginning of the kickoff meeting, it is a good idea to introduce people to avoid confusion and create a collaborative environment. Note that this is the first meeting that everyone involved.
Project Background and Purpose
At the beginning of the kickoff meeting, some of the participants may not be familiar with the project. There may be new team members or executive stakeholders who are learning about the project for the first time. Therefore, you need to provide a piece of general information regarding the project’s background and purpose. Using a chart or a visual timeline will helo you to keep this section at an optimum level without losing a lot of time.
Project Goals, Objectives, Scope, and Deliverables
Summarize the project goals, objectives, scope, and deliverables at a high-level. Make sure that every participant understands the project scope and key milestones.
Roles and Responsibilities
After discussing the scope and key project deliverables, allow team members to briefly introduce themselves and their roles and responsibilities on the project. So that everybody understands who is responsible for what and the team members understand what is expected from them. This part of the kickoff meeting agenda template is also very important to understand the responsibilities of each participant.
High-Level Project Plan (High-Level Project Schedule)
Provide a high-level project plan to talk about the deadline and the duration of major project deliverables. A kickoff meeting is not the right place to discuss the project schedule in detail. However, providing general information regarding the key milestone dates and the completion date of each major phase or deliverable will help everybody to have a general insight into the project timeline. Note that a high-level project plan is one of the most important sections of a project kickoff meeting template.
Communications Plan Expectations
Provide some information regarding communication channels, meeting schedules, and the methods for communication.
Before closing up the meeting, run a question and answer session. It can be helpful for everybody to understand the plan and deliverables at a high level.
A Sample Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template
A project kickoff meeting has four main objectives which are below;
- Provides an executive overview
- Allows team members to introduce themselves
- Shows how the team will work together
- Communicates the project expectations
Here below you can find a project kickoff meeting agenda template to help you to create your own by adding and removing sections considering your project’s requirements.
A Sample Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template
Kickoff Meeting Agenda
|Introduce and welcome participants||5 min|
|Meeting Goals||Communicate the meeting goals||5 min|
|Project Background and Purpose||Provide a project overview at a high level.
Describe the project vision.
Provide information regarding the project background and purpose
|Project Goals and Objectives||Discuss major project deliverables, goals, and objectives.||5 min|
|Ground Rules||Discuss the project ground rules||5 min|
|Roles and Responsibilities||Allow the team members to introduce themselves and their roles and their roles and responsibilities||5-10 min|
|High-Level Plan||At this part of the kickoff meeting, review the high-level project plan and discuss the major project milestones and important dates.||5-10 min|
|Next Steps||Discuss the plan and timeframe for the next steps of the project||5 min|
|Communications Plan Expectations||Discuss the communications plan and, types of communications and meeting schedule.||5 min|
|Issue Management and Resolution||Discuss the important issues, risks, and methods to deal with them.||5 min|
|Questions||Run a question and answer session to ensure everybody understands the project objectives.||15 min|
|Close||Close up the meeting||1-2 min|
A project’s kickoff meeting is like turning the page into a new project. It shows how the team will work together to bring up the project to success. Assume that all the team members, key project stakeholders, clients are ready to discuss the basic items today. It is critical to have a well-organized and informative meeting to address critical issues and priorities. So, create a project kickoff meeting agenda to guide discussions and cover all the critical points of the project. In this article, we shared a sample project kickoff meeting agenda template to help you to create your own by adding and removing sections considering your project’s requirements.
Since 2004 I work for ICT Management which provides worldwide quality management service. Passionate about new technologies, i have the privilege to implement many new systems and applications for different departements of my company. I have Six Sigma Green Belt.