How to Plan a Project Kickoff Meeting: An Easy Checklist

A strong sense of team work is critical to the success of any project.

But, what if your team members are geographically distributed and do not expect to see much of each other during the project?

In this case, team spirit is at risk. Thankfully, you can use a PM killer tool, one of the most effective mechanisms in Project Communications Management: a project kickoff meeting.

Schedule it at the beginning of the project, or at the beginning of phases in large projects, the launch meeting provides the opportunity not only to present the project charter and discuss the project’s goals and objectives but also to establish rapport among team members. An invaluable tool to help a project manager to set the tone, communicate expectations, and get everyone on the same page.

If you don’t know where to start, or you feel overwhelmed by the steps necessary to plan an energizing project kickoff meeting, take advantage of the great infographic we put together with the complete activity checklist. 10 tasks to prepare the meeting and then other 10 to manage and follow-up during and after it.

Just tick the boxes, success delivered.

Read on!

Image titled How to Plan Your Project Kickoff Meeting – an Easy Checklist

Project Kickoff Meeting – Activity Checklist

1. Before the meeting

  • Obtain and review project charter.
  • Understand and confirm project funding.
  • Understand and secure project team.
  • Understand and secure project timeline.
  • Develop stakeholder communications.
  • Identify who should be attending kick-off meeting (project team, key stakeholders, project sponsors, others).
  • Determine meeting agenda.
  • Email all meeting participants to understand their availability for a meeting date and time or utilize Outlook Calendar to assess common availability.
  • Arrange meeting room and hardware — projector, screen, etc.
  • Create meeting materials, including presentation, handouts (project charter, timeline, contact lists, other), and a shared folder for electronic files related to the project.

2. During and after the meeting

  • Appoint someone to record minutes.
  • Set ground rules for the meeting (questions, respect for others, interruptions, etc.).
  • Give owners and follow-up dates to all outstanding/parking lot items.
  • Meet all action item dates. If not, take steps to correct.
  • Share additional information with all team members and stakeholders.
  • Make sure that all project team members understand the goals of the project and their roles and responsibilities.
  • Establish the leadership for the project.
  • Identify critical milestones, phases and deadlines of the project.
  • Review the overall project work plan and schedule with appropriate members of the project team.
  • Explain standard operating procedures and any ongoing communications necessary between project manager and the project team.

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Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

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