Kick-Off Meeting: Launch Your Next Project w/ Our Agenda, Checklist & Template!

So, we’re here to talk about kick-off meetings and calls! A kick-off meeting is crucial to the success of any new project. A rocky kick-off meeting does not bode well for any newly started campaign.

So, we’re going to cover exactly what is a kick-off meeting or call and what makes a successful one. We’ve also got some handy kick-off meeting templates, agendas, and action items to make your next kick-off call super smooth!

In this kick-off meeting guide and RSS list

What is a kick-off meeting or a kick-off call?

A kick-off meeting is a way of starting a new project. This can be anything from a brand new product launch to a multi-year, $10 million dollar marketing campaign.

At its core, the purpose of any kick-off meeting or call is to get everyone on the same page and working together towards the same goal no matter what that goal may be. Whether it is to fully sell your next big idea to management or clients, getting everyone on the same page and working together towards the same goal is vital for success.

In summary, the kick-off meeting meaning is a meeting that gets everyone together to start a new project.

Also, in summary, the purpose of a kick-off meeting is to get everyone on the same page to make project success smoother.

How do you do a kick-off meeting?

The first part of any kick-off meeting should always include a review of the documentation that has been produced surrounding the project. At this point, you should discuss any questions or uncertainties that may arise from this review.

The second part of a kick-off meeting is to give those involved an idea of what will be required from them in order for the completed project to succeed. This is where it’s time to break your project into milestones and deadlines so that everyone can agree when the goals are going to be completed.

The last part of a kick-off meeting is when you go over what will happen after the project. Will there be another meeting? If so, when? Who has to sign off on final drafts? Who decides whether or not the project was successful upon completion?

At this point, kick-off meetings and calls can go in all sorts of directions. From there, you can discuss creating a project plan and the timeline to complete it. Kick off meetings are an excellent way to get everyone on your team working together towards the same goal.

Kick-off meeting agenda example

Alright, enough chit-chat, let’s get to the examples. Below is what a typical kickoff meeting agenda could look like:

Kick-off meeting agenda example

·  Introduction of the project manager and team members

·  Review of docs (if applicable)

·  Project definition/purpose, what is to be accomplished by the end?   Milestones, deadlines, deliverables. What does that look like? When are they due? Who signs off on them?

·  Project plan (if applicable)

·  How will we measure success?

Our fave kick-off meeting resources: templates, Docs, and samples

We’ve compiled our favorite list of resources, so you can get your kick-off meeting ready quickly and easily.

Kick-off meeting agenda

Here you can download a blank one, or edit it in Google Docs.

This kickoff meeting template is available in Microsoft Word format so you can use it for any of your projects. The download also includes a printable checklist to guide you through the entire process.

Kickoff Meeting Template 

Here’s another kick-off meeting template that gives you room to fill in all the information you need.

Kick-off meeting goals and action items

Sometimes a written agenda isn’t enough to keep everyone on track for a successful kick-off meeting. That’s where lists of goals and action items come into play! These will help you plan, prioritize, and execute your project right from the start. Download this easy list of kick-off meeting goals and action items.

Project kick-off checklist

Everyone should have a list of things to make sure they do before any project, but let’s be honest – who remembers every single last little thing? This checklist is a lifesaver! It will help you remember all the important details that you might otherwise miss. Print it!

Kick-off meeting PDF

Here is another kick-off meeting template that gives you room to fill in all the information you need. You can download this one in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Don’t forget to include these documents when your kick-off meeting is over so that anyone new to the project can get up to speed!

Kick off meeting notes template

The kick-off meeting notes template is another great resource for organizing your project. You can use it as a guide to making sure you cover everything in your meetings, or even print it out and add additional information directly onto the template.

Kick-off meeting agenda sample

Kick-off Meeting Agenda

Project:  ____________________

Date:  _______________

Time:   ____ (duration of meeting)

Participants: (in person, by phone, video conference, etc.) List and titles for each attendee and designation of whether roles are “present” or “via phone”.

State the purpose of the meeting and discuss an overview of the project.

1st Agenda Item:  (Project Introduction)

2nd Agenda Item:  (Project Background/Rationale) – Provider training is a major factor in successful projects, especially if it means employees can get products from one location to another efficiently.

3rd Agenda Item:  (Project Objectives) – Identify the most important aspects of the project by answering what, how, and why questions.

4th Agenda Item:  (Project Scope & Deliverables): What is in scope? What is out of scope? How will we know when the project is finished? What are your initial timelines? How will you measure success?

5th Agenda Item:  (Project Plan) – This might include milestones, deadlines, and deliverables. Is there any special equipment/software needed for this project? Will anyone need to be trained on how to do specific tasks or use certain equipment/software?

6th Agenda Item:  (Action Items) – Who is responsible for completing each task and by when will it be completed? Will they need to work with anyone else (e.g. additional team members, subject-matter experts)?

7th Agenda Item:    (Project Team) – This section includes the roles and responsibilities for each team member, as well as what they need to know about the project.

8th Agenda Item:    (Team Communication) – This section should include how often you will meet or hear from one another and who is responsible for sending out meeting agendas and minutes.

9th Agenda Item:    (Project Schedule) – What will you do first, second, etc.? When will each activity be completed? Will there be any deadlines, milestones, or people to report to?

10th Agenda Item:    (Documentation) – This section should note how documentation for the project will be shared with others. You may consider creating a centralized location for all project materials, i.e. a file share or Google Drive folder.

11th Agenda Item:    (Additional Information) – This section can include other questions that came up during the kick-off meeting or other follow-up that needs to take place.

12th Agenda Item:    (Review Action Items) – Who has taken on what responsibilities since the last meeting?

13th Agenda Item:    (Adjourn) – This is where you would see “meeting adjourned”, any project management templates, etc.

Best Practices for Kick-off Meetings

The kickoff meeting is an essential step in guiding your team to success. Use this best practices checklist to make sure that your project gets off on the right foot.

When is the best time to schedule a kickoff meeting?  There should be at least one other team member present during your kick-off meeting, though you can certainly have larger meetings that include other stakeholders as well. If you are planning out your ideal timeline, then it’s recommended to hold this meeting after the project has been approved by your manager or company.

Who do you invite?  Invite anyone involved in the planning and execution of the project to ensure that everyone is on the same page. You can also have someone from outside your company attend, but they should only be part of the meeting if their expertise will bring value to the discussion.  Whoever is attending should be available to actively participate in the meeting.

How long does it take?  Kickoff meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more depending on the type of project you are working on and how many people need to attend. The meeting planner sets the agenda so be sure to allot time to cover all of the necessary items.

How do you prepare?  Gather any existing background information on your project as well as any supporting materials that might be helpful during the meeting. You should also have a list of agenda topics for discussion, and determine who will facilitate each portion of the meeting.

What is a good structure for a kickoff meeting?  You might want to begin by introducing yourself and welcoming participants. Then, you can go around the room and ask each participant to introduce themselves and say a few words about their contribution during the meeting. You can also provide an overview of what project is all about and why it’s important.

Final thoughts about kick-off meetings

Thanks for reading our article about kick-off meetings! It’s important to keep in mind that kickoff meetings are integral for guiding your team through the project. If you’re working on a new project, then having an agenda can help make sure that you cover all of the necessary subjects during the meeting.

If you’re planning your first kickoff meeting, then you can check out our kick-off meeting template for inspiration! You can also read up on other project management best practices such as creating a project timeline and effective communication techniques.

If there’s anything we missed, please let us know in the comment section below.

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