Creating a project kickoff meeting agenda can be a time-consuming and long process: making sure you haven't missed anything, going back and forth with clients on specifics, and even formatting the document all take time.
Sometimes you need a shortcut. In this article, I'll tell you exactly what to include, and you'll be able to get our project kickoff meeting agenda template.
What Is A Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda?
A project kickoff meeting agenda is a list of items or points of discussion that will be covered during your project kickoff meeting. You'll circulate it to the client and any other stakeholders that will be attending the meeting prior to the meeting itself.
Agendas are a necessity for client kickoff meetings, but it's also a good idea to have an agenda for your internal kickoff meetings as well.
Read about the purpose of a kickoff meeting here.
Why Do I Need An Agenda?
Agendas provide a roadmap for your meeting, and help keep the meeting on track and finish on time.
Without an agenda, you run the risk of not getting to everything that needs to be discussed, spending too much time getting bogged down in unnecessary or already covered details, or the client bringing up things like when the wireframes will be ready before you've even finished planning the project!
Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda Template
Our project kickoff meeting agenda template will give you a head start on your agenda. We also have a sample agenda available for download that provides even more context for how the template should be filled out.
The project kickoff meeting template is available through DPM membership.
What To Include In Your Project Kickoff Agenda
- Introductions: Let each project team member introduce themselves and explain their project role. A quick icebreaker here helps to get everyone talking and encourages future teamwork (note: this shouldn't be your first meeting with client, but it's likely the client hasn't been introduced to their full new team yet).
- Project background: Discuss how the current project aligns with the client’s high-level business strategy, any other relevant or similar projects, and any other background information.
- Project briefing: Provide an overview of the project and cover project details, the project's purpose, project goals, and the business problem that the project is intended to solve.
- Success: Align on what project success means, success measurements, key KPIs and metrics, and any other relevant success indicators.
- Project management: Cover standard project management topics like the project plan, project scope, project timelines and due dates, project milestones, methodology and workflow, the phases and parts of the project, specific tasks and project deliverables, risks and dependencies, reporting, what specific project management software and communication software (ex. Slack) you'll be using, and any other relevant details.
- Any other business: Allow the client team to chime in on anything else that they want to cover in the meeting.
- Next steps: Discuss next steps and action items for the client team, the project team, and other project stakeholders, as well as ensure clarity.
Your accompanying project kickoff meeting presentation should line up with each item in your agenda.
Get more info on how to create an effective agenda in the video below:
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In our project kickoffs crash course, you learn everything you need to kickoff successful projects. Plus, you can get:
- Kickoff checklist
- Kickoff agendas
- Rules of engagement
- Email template
- Kickoff meeting exercises
During the project kickoff meeting, have someone take meeting notes (try to assign a note-taker and avoid taking them yourself so you can focus on building rapport with the client, starting off on the right foot, and setting expectations).
Shortly after the meeting, send a prompt follow-up email with a list of action items and any leftover open questions.
By now, you know the importance of project kickoff meetings. Their purpose includes aligning with the client and key stakeholders on key project details and setting a positive tone for the new project.
As mentioned, you'll need to hold an internal kickoff prior to the client kickoff. Here's what to do before, during, and after that internal project meeting.
Finally, one of the most critical parts of a project manager's job in this stage of the project is being a leader. It's up to you to get the all the info to get the project started and to inspire and motivate your team. Here's how to be a leader during the project kickoff. Read more about project kickoffs here.