How to Have Project Kick-off Meeting

Kick-off meeting is the first meeting of the project where you give all the team members good news that project is ‘go ahead’ from the sponsors and also set the tone of your project – is it going to be a success or a failure.  Many hours and days have gone into preparation before you have kick-off meeting. You have worked very hard and now have project charter and project plan is in your hands.Primarily kick-off meeting has following goals-

  1. energize the project team
  2. communicate project goals and expectations
  3. introduce team members and stake-holders
  4. highlight opportunities plus challenges and reiterate importance of project for organization
  5. provide information of processes, methodology, project plan, key milestones, etc.
  6. handout team’s contact phone numbers and email addresses
  7. present communication plan
  8. give time to attendees to ask questions and express views

I would do following extra things to make sure kick-off meeting sets positive tone –

  1. print the hand-out material a day before, also check for meeting room projector etc.
  2. have some project related posters and famous positive quotes posted on the wall
  3. invite one or two senior managment  people to talk about project’s importance
  4. have kick-off meeting around 9 AM (start of the day is better)
  5. block enough time for this meeting (time for refreshments, presentations, questions and answers)
  6. set date of kick-off  meeting and notify all members at-least a week ago
  7. offer light refreshments at the beginning of the kick-off meeting
  8. do not sit and just talk, look and feel energetic
  9. have your project plan and other documents (that you plan to hand out) reviewed well in advance by subject matter experts for accuracy
  10. make sure meeting conveys the message and people walk out with motivation

Are there other key things? I will be interested to hear.  Hope this helps and good luck with your kick-off meeting. 

Categories: Business, Compuware, I.T., leader, Leadership, Management, manager, Meetings, Motivation, PMP, Productivity, Project, Project Manager, Self Help, Tips, Workplace

Tags: , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. As we know, completing a project is a team effort, I would say, project team must review the responsibilities of each team member to execute the given project. Set some individual goals for each team member. Any other thoughts…..!

  2. I wish my project’s kick off meeting can be like this;)
    but I think most of us follow only some of the goals described here..I wonder why…is this ‘coz of cramped schedules…or we just don’t wanna waste time on these things…
    Virk may be you can throw some light on this..


  3. Well, Himanshu, you are right. We follow only some of the goals which are requiered. Time is main concern in projects, that is why we follow some of goals. I am in construction industry in Chicago. In Chicago, construction companies have very limited time ( only Summer) to complete the projects. We always strugle for time and that is why we do not follow all these goals. Any thoughts……

  4. Thank you both for valuable input.

    Both of you have touched the classic issue of ‘not having enough time’. I agree that many times only so called ‘important’ things are talked about and other items are considered ‘waste of time’.

    These kind of meetings where we are in hurry (due to lack of planning) and fail to bring all on same page (that creates confustion in project at a later stage) are very common in any sector, but being a leader/manager WE can choose to set the tone of these meetings. We all can make difference by doing what seems right. You will agree that detail and duration of meetings may depend on project, but having a meeting that leaves attendees enthusiased and informed about project is important thing.

    Knowing that all these 10 points may not have some constraints, I had those points as “extra” things to set tone of meetings in a positive way for all team members.

    The challenge is – when you are in command, would you take time to plan ahead and have the good kick-off meeting? Are there any benefits of such meetings or not?

    Thanks again.

  5. ya sure kick off meeting is very important, it provides better understanding between team members, and the most important is that it make a correct flow to the project.
    if we have any projrct already build we can get support from that, and can also astimate the Time.

  6. I read this article a little bit late, the most important project I have been managed in my life had the kick off meeting today, I didn’t use this tips, but I think they are helpful,
    I could add,,, make sure the most important team memberss can attend to the meeting… I don’t know if is a good practice to have another kick off to unattending members…

  7. Kick-Off meeting is very important for deployment of project,one site, as well. This provide better understanding.
    How you are going to deploye your project.
    High level work plan
    What are steps?
    Time lines
    oustanding issues

  8. I work for an NGO and is advising governmental agencies on the implementation of a computer system. In such an environment where project stakeholders are in different departments and not part of the Steering Committee, the project kick off meeting is essential to get the buyin from the other stakeholders – the rest of the project team meets usually regularly so one can maintain the energy needed to get things done. I’ve followed the tips and can say that it was most certainly very helpful Virk.

  9. Hi
    I would appreciate if someone could send me the kick off meeting sample ( how is look like for engineering fromject).


  10. I’d say you described a perfect kickoff meeting 🙂 It might be challenging to make all these tips implemented at once, but it’s definitely worth trying. I especially like the point about getting the team energized and motivated. In our recent posts, we took a look at the matter from the other side – what people _hate_ to hear at project kickoff meetings and what phrases get them confused/discouraged? If you’re interested, you can check out this list of 10 most disliked phrases that are often used at project kickoff:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: