A Formal Project Kickoff Is Crazy Important

In my last post, I referred to an article that was published in ProjectTimes.com called 11 Reasons Why My Project Manager Is Better Than Yours by Brad Egeland where he suggested that we should “Rely On Experience, Not Certification”.

This week we go to the notion that “A Project Kickoff Is Crazy Important – Never Skip a Formal Project Kickoff”.

Brad wrote… “On a big project, it should be with the whole team in person for a 2 to 3-hour meeting, but even if it’s a 20-minute phone call, it needs to happen. Conduct the kickoff meeting to go over a common understanding of budget, effort, how changes will be handled, draft delivery dates, and overall, what is going to be accomplished. Come out of this kickoff with everyone on the same page to start the heavy work.”

The only thing I would add is the communications plan and the team charter. Both are important parts of the pre-project planning.

The communications plan (along with the stakeholder analysis) will lay the groundwork on who gets what, why, when and how.  It will highlight the key people who will require some level of communication throughout the project as well as the people who are NOT key but think they need communications throughout the project (important to highlight).

The Team Charter has been written about many times in this space.  This document is a recognition of the project team:

  • Who is who in the zoo?
  • Roles and responsibilities clearly defined.
  • How are we going to communicate with each other?
  • How will we manage our meetings: how often and how will they be structured?
  • And maybe we spend some time on getting to know each other a little better before we get going

Yes!  A project kickoff meeting is crazy important and no, you should never skip it.


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