How to host an effective project kickoff meeting.

If you’re considering implementing a kickoff meeting for your team each time you get a project or are looking to optimize your current project kickoff meetings, continue reading to see precisely what can make project kickoff meetings successful.

Project Kickoff Meeting FAQs

1. What Is a Project Kickoff Meeting?

A project kickoff meeting will get everyone – the project team, client, and other stakeholders – on the same page by having a shared understanding of what the new project will entail. This meeting is the first thing that can be a step towards the successful completion of the project.

2. How Long Is a Project Kickoff Meeting? 

Depending on the scope, a project kickoff can take as little as fifteen minutes to an hour. The meeting should cover all the details for a successful project. A project kickoff will make sure that the team and other key stakeholders are on the same page.

While it may seem like a lot of time to take out for a project that has yet to start or is still in development, a kickoff meeting has the background information shared with everyone who attends. This allows the team to establish common goals and help prepare the client for the next steps once the project is complete.

3. What Should I Include In a Kickoff Meeting Agenda?

The time for project kickoffs will vary by the purpose of a kickoff. However, the most crucial thing may be the agenda that will identify and help team members decide what to discuss and what key information is needed to complete a project. 

Some things that are helpful to include in the project kickoff meeting agenda, especially for a new project, will be the project’s life cycle, key features, expectations, and stakeholders involved. These things can help prepare the team who is about to work on the project. 



How to Have an Effective Kickoff Meeting

A kickoff meeting can set expectations and save time working or making decisions on the project. 

To have an effective kickoff meeting, the people working on the project should present a plan and have an agenda in place. That way, people at the kickoff meeting can leave with a clear understanding and hit the ground running after taking notes of the meeting.

Introduce Attendees

A project kickoff meeting wouldn’t be anything without the entire team showing up. The following project members need to show to have an effective kickoff meeting. If it is a client kickoff meeting, the team should also invite the client to the meeting to discuss their ideas of success.

Meet Team Members

The Project Manager

The project manager is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing or onboarding new projects for an organization while ensuring these projects are on time, within budget, and have a successful completion. 

This role is essential when it comes to having a working relationship and collaboration among the team. The manager usually has an extensive project background in project management and has worked on internal projects or even an external project.

The Project Team

The project team consists of people responsible for executing tasks within the project plan. Each project team member may have different project roles that can help a project’s purpose.

While there is a manager, it is up to the team to work in collaboration to ensure success and that progress on the project is happening.

The Project Plan

A project plan will prepare you to have the kickoff meeting. Depending on the track of the project, timeline, and how team members working on the project go about this process – you may or may not have a project plan prepared.

However, don’t panic! Kickoff meetings often can also be internal project kickoff meetings without the client. An internal project kickoff meeting can help establish what will happen in the first meeting with the client. It can also set a kickoff meeting agenda presented on the client-side of the meeting.


Things to Include In a Project Kickoff Meeting

A project kickoff meeting will make the project work. Here are a few things to include to ensure success after you and your team discuss the information regarding the project.

Project Introduction

While those at the project kickoffs may be familiar with the project, to make sure everyone is on the same page, doing an introduction on the project, the project’s purpose, and other necessary background information can help the client understand and allow meeting minutes to develop.

Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda

The agenda of the kickoff meeting is essential. A kickoff meeting agenda will cover everything you, the team, and the client intend to go over. The schedule will keep everyone track and make sure everyone involved can save time regarding details, deadlines, and other progress.

Mock Meeting Agenda Outline

While the project you have will depend on how long the agenda is or what it will cover, this is a sample mock of what you can include within the kickoff meeting agenda for any project kickoffs.

1. Project Timeline - A project’s timeline can be visible or written. This timeline will help everyone involved understand the project’s scope, help reach scope milestones, develop expectations and other details.

2. Project Scope - The project scope will include the actual planning and list the goals, tasks, costs, deadlines, and more. Think of this part as the project background. Project scope is typically produced by the project manager, as the project manager oversees everything. 

3. Project Purpose - A project purpose will define why the completion of the project by the team is happening and should not be broad when discussed in the kickoff meeting. An agenda of a kickoff meeting should always refer back to the plan you want to achieve at the end of the project. The project’s purpose will help productivity.

4. Project Details - While you may think the scope and purpose are enough, the devil is in the details. Having a project description ensures details can be discussed and shared thoroughly with stakeholders, the client, and the team. Project details can also give an idea of how on track or not the team is on the project.

5. Project Mission Statement - Similar to a regular mission statement, a project mission statement defines the objective, purpose, and goals pursued. At most, a mission statement should be two sentences. It’s straightforward and to the point to be helpful but also motivating to those involved, including the stakeholders.

The Project

Project work may get overwhelming. That is why it’s helpful to have a kickoff meeting, whether with a client or an internal kickoff meeting. A project can use a lot of time, people, and resources – having everything laid out for the project will ensure success.

Three Talking Points in a Project Kickoff Meeting


  1. Communication

While this may seem like a no-brainer, communication is critical in ensuring a kickoff meeting and project are tended to well. Figure out if you’ll communicate about the project on a software platform, e-mail, or another communication tool.

  1. Meeting Times

While a kickoff meeting is helpful, you should meet more than just the initial project kickoff meeting. Having set times to meet with members can also be included on the timeline. That way, the project will move on to finalize details and reach the necessary people.

  1. Possible Project Hiccups

It’s always a consideration to think of issues that may arise. Thinking of hiccups can help the team and client avoid things and figure what is best to decide. A client kickoff meeting will make sure you have the opportunity to get information from the client-side.

Project Management Platforms

Luckily, a work management system can make taking notes or holding a kickoff meeting simpler. Hivewire is one of these platforms, which means project management just got a whole lot easier! 

Hivewire

Hivewire is a software platform where a team can organize and automate customer onboarding tasks. A project management platform allows you to track statuses, gather data, share, and modify projects along with your team in one place.


Information is more accurate when it’s in one place. Hivewire is custom, easy to modify, share, and connect with those on the team.

 

If you have been hunting for an onboarding platform that’ll work seamlessly with your team, request a demo or watch this video to see how you can streamline your projects!