Unlike most meetings, teams often walk into kick-off meetings excited and anxious to learn about the new project at hand. But like most meetings, teams frequently walk out of kick-offs confused about what the new ideas is, and what to do next. At your next kick-off meeting, set the tone for the projects and the lay the foundation for team relationships following Speek’s questions to develop a meeting agenda.
Start Projects Right with a Kick-Off Meeting Agenda
- What’s the big picture? Create a project executive summary stating the problem the customer is facing, the goal of fixing this problem, and the plan to fix the problem.
- Where are we going? State and describe the project goal in detail. Clear goals keep the team focused on the customer need while managing expectations.
- Who’s doing what? Get explicit about project members and their roles. Based on the goals, each member of the team should be able to present what skills they bring to the table and how they will contribute to solving the customer’s needs.
- What will be done to get there? Outline the project scope and deliverables covered in the budget. (Bonus points if you also include what’s not in scope.) For each deliverable, the team should be able to fill in the blanks: “In order for us to do X, we need to…”
- How do we evaluate ourselves? Be specific about key metrics and success factors. If KPIs aren’t already included in the contract or proposal, it’s important to reiterate them now with your team.
- How will we collaborate? Set aside time to talk about how your team will work together, including meeting rhythms and collaboration tools. Team rhythms could include weekly status, project plan updates, management updates, and planning sessions. The team toolkit could include Trello, Google Drive, and Speek.
- Any remaining questions? Hold a Q&A for any clarifying or new questions. The above agenda is a high overview of the work ahead, but it’s important for team members to feel heard and understood when they walk out of this meeting.
Takeaway: The beginning of projects is a good time to step back and evaluate how you're going to approach the work at hand. When creating the agenda for the kick-off, make sure you address both the work itself and how it will be accomplished by the team.