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Seven Key Elements for a Successful Kickoff Meeting Agenda

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26 May 2015


Key Elements for a Successful Kickoff Meeting Agenda

An effective kickoff meeting should be done through an organized agenda which focuses on answering important questions about the project for everyone in the meeting. Not everyone in the meeting will have a full understanding of the project to be completed, which is why it’s important to discuss the details. Below are some of the elements that should be part of the kickoff meeting, but you should organize them in the way you see most effective for your next meeting.

Project Executive Summary – The Big Picture

The executive summary is a high level overview of the problem that the client is facing, the goal of fixing the problem, and the plan to fix the problem. This serves as a basic outline of what will be discussed during the kickoff meeting so that everyone is clear on the project and what will be talked about.

Project Goal – Where are we going?

A detailed description of what the goals are which will satisfy the client needs. The goal was already discussed during the proposal process, but you should assume that there attendees on the conference call who were not filled in with the specific details. Presenting a detailed goal (e.g. grow web traffic by 10% over the next 3 months) will manage everyone’s expectations for the project.

Project members and their roles – Who’s doing what?

As we mentioned in last weeks article, if the kickoff meeting is on a conference call you should try to have as many of your team members present on the call. This gives them the opportunity to ask questions, and hear exactly what is being discussed throughout the meeting. Introduce each team member during the call, their position in the company, and their specific role in the project. The client will most likely have key members who will be evaluating the project, so they might have some important questions to ask about future collaboration with each member.

Project Scope and Deliverables – What will be done to get there?

Discuss what will be done to reach the goals, and what type of work is covered by the budget. You should also include the type of work which will not be done for the project. This is important, because a big part of a successful kick off meeting is managing client expectations and the expectations of everyone involved in the meeting.

Define each part of the process, the person in charge, and the goals. If the project work involves collaboration, you should mention what will be needed from the client for each part of the process. “In order for us to do X, we will need ……”

Key Performance Metrics and Success Factors – Evaluation

Be as specific as possible so that everyone is on the same page. In an online marketing project, these can be ROI, traffic increase %, conversion rates, keyword rankings, etc. This is most likely mentioned in the contract that was signed, however it’s important reiterate it so that everyone in the meeting has a clear understanding of what will be achieved and when.

Communication Plans and Meetings - Collaboration methods?

Communication is a key factor for a successful project, and your kickoff meeting agenda has to include it. If you don’t have anything defined for the meeting, this is your opportunity to discuss with the client future communication plans. The communication plans should include future meetings which will be conducted for the project life cycle. Future meetings can include:

  • Weekly status meetings
  • Project plan status updates
  • Management updates
  • Task and activity planning sessions

You should also include collaboration and communication tools which will be used to communicate between your team and your client. This can be organizational tools like Trello, file sharing tools like Dropbox, or communication tools like Speek.

Q&A Session

This marks the end of the kickoff meeting, and gives everyone a chance to ask questions to clarify important aspects of the project. It’s important to leave room for this if you can, otherwise if you run out of time, you’ll have to take questions separately from everyone via email or separate phone calls.

A Summary Important Elements of a Kickoff Meeting Agenda

  • Project Executive Summary
  • Project Goal
  • Project Members and their Roles
  • Project Scope and Deliverables
  • Key Performance Metrics and Success Factors
  • Communication Plans and Meetings
  • Q&A Session

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