You can’t jump into a project kickoff meeting without a purpose. Depending on the unique needs of your project or project stakeholders, what you’re expecting to get out of the meeting may differ from project to project.
But the project kickoff meeting also has a specific purpose within the context of the project management lifecycle and project initiation process. What is the purpose of a project kickoff meeting?
What do you need to achieve during this meeting to start your new project on the path to success? Keep reading to find out!
In this article:
Purpose Of The Project Kickoff Meeting
The overarching purpose of the project kickoff meeting—the why—is to get the project off the ground and officially get started on the project work. It’s a jumping off point for the project team and client team. Both should come away from this first meeting with clear next steps and an idea of where things are heading.
Beyond that, project kickoff meetings have multiple purposes that serve this overarching purpose:
- Introduce the team members
- Create a shared understanding of the project background
- Create a mutual understanding of what a successful project looks like
- Create a shared understanding of what needs to be done
- Agree on how to work together effectively
It’s a chance to level set and get the team, key stakeholders, and project sponsors on the same page.
For the agency team who are tasked with delivery of the project, the project kickoff meeting is an opportunity to get the key information they need to succeed and demonstrate their enthusiasm and understanding of the project, it’s a chance to instill confidence in the client that they’ve made a good decision in their choice of agency and project team.
Project Kickoff Meeting Objectives
When it comes to concrete objectives for the meeting, this will again depend on the specifics of your project. However, there are a few salient objectives—specific items that you’ll want to make sure you get out of the meeting as the project manager.
- Setting and agreeing upon the project goals and purpose of the project
- Setting the tone for clear communication and teamwork throughout the project
- Agreement and clarity on the project brief
- Establish team roles and responsibilities
- Establish project timeline, deliverables, and status update format and frequency
Of course, the purpose, common goals, timeline, deliverables, and status update format and frequency might shift and change throughout the project, but the project kickoff meeting helps set a baseline to move forward from.
It’s also important to get into the nitty-gritty of the project details as well. Discuss the approach, methodology, and scope of the project, and any other important details. Project managers can use this to validate their initial project plan and compare what is discussed to the statement of work and project charter.
There’s no doubt a successful kickoff meeting can set the course and tone for the rest of the project. So done right, the project kickoff meeting can contribute enormously to the success of the project itself.
It’s important to structure your project kickoff meeting agenda to ensure you meet your objectives for the meeting. Carefully consider what you’ll cover and discuss in the kickoff meeting as well as what do before, during, and after. Use our kickoff meeting agenda template to get a head start. You can also get some tips on leading the meeting well here.