How to do an expert-certified project kickoff (and Ace It Every Time)

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The kickoff meeting for a project is one of the most important aspects of a project. As a project manager, it should also be one of your favorite activities.
The project kickoff is a great opportunity for project managers to solve problems. The brief is new, the slate is clean, so the possibilities are endless. Every brief is an opportunity for you to deliver the best project.
I immediately start to imagine all the possible solutions and how to motivate my team.
Me, thinking about all the possibilities for a new project. I understand that not everyone feels the same way. That’s why I am the PM! I try to channel my excitement and enthusiasm for a new project into the facilitation if my kick-off meeting.
There are two types of kickoffs.
You can use this meeting internally with your team to create a project plan, timeline, and approach.
You use this meeting to share the project plan and approach that you have developed with your team with your client or customer.
Both are important and can be scaled depending on the nuances of your projects – the task at hand, trust between teams and the scope and timeline of the project. However, this article will focus primarily on the first use-case. It will also discuss how to tactically execute the project kickoff that leads to a complex project plan.
This article will cover:
What to do before the Project Kickoff Meeting?
What to do during the Project Kickoff Meeting?
What to do after the Project Kickoff Meeting?
What does a successful project kickoff look like?
What to do before the Project Kickoff Meeting?
There are a few purposes to the internal kickoff meeting:
It creates and shares context for the brief, or the problem to solve.
It allows a cross-functional team of people to work together to create a project approach or project charter.
If done well, it can get the project team excited about their work and optimistic about solving a problem.
To ensure a successful project kickoff meeting, you need to be prepared before you send out a calendar invitation to your team.
Reread your brief and consider what you want to accomplish in the project kickoff. Is it to decide on a strategy? Is it to create a timeline? Is it to get buy-in from the project team? All of the above?
These questions will help you decide how to lead the meeting. If the goal is to agree on a solution to a complex problem, or project, then you will need to include both leaders and the “doers” who will do the actual work.
You don’t need to have the “doers”, if you want to create a timeline quickly, then you can invite the leaders to share important milestones after the meeting.
Grove Tools developed the Graphic Gameplan, which I love as a kickoff meeting framework. It’s easy to use and flexible, so you can adapt it to any type project in almost all industries.

Next, determine your attendees. As a rule, I include everyone on the “day to day” project team. This includes any executive sponsors who may have more information about the project brief, background, or task than the rest of team. These people can be engaged in more effective ways than sitting through a kickoff meeting.

Once you have confirmed your attendees, set the date, time and location of your meeting.
Before participating, make sure to distribute the brief and any background material to the project team. Have you ever worked on a

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