The Kick-off Meeting (KM) is the first official assembly of a new project, so it is part of the initiation phase, with the goal to collect and to distribute relevant
information about the project to the stakeholders. The leader of the meeting is the project manager, who has been assigned to manage the given project.
Every project has various stakeholders with special roles, from members to supervisors:
- Project manager
The project manager is the leader of the project, and is responsible to reach the project goal, by keeping the project in motion and on the right track.
- Project members
The ones, who work within the project to reach the project goal by contributing with their knowledge and support (e.g. subject professionals, technical experts, etc.).
Supervisors control the project, and they are the ones the project manager reports to. The team of supervisors is generally called as steering committee, or review gremium.
The project manager is responsible to start the project with the kick-off meeting, which is not only a briefing, but also an interactive meeting. A properly set up kick-off
should contain the following cornerstones:
- Invitation of not only project members, but also the attendance of some supervisors from the steering committee is suggested.
- Objectives of the kick-off meeting.
- Objectives and the goal of the project (including major requirements and scope).
- Project team with roles and responsibilities.
- Risk evaluation session.
- Communication plan (what communication paths will be set up, the frequency of project and steering committee meetings).
- Change management (how to plan and execute changes in the project).
- Time-line with major milestones.
Having a kick-off meeting in the organization is needed to start the project, but don’t forget to have one with your customer. An intercompany kick-off not only lays down
the basic requirements, but supports the communication flow during the entire project, as all members - both from your and your customer’s side - know each other.
Clear communication is a must! The kick-off is the meeting, which sets the basics for the project, so it is a perfect place to shape the project, and set it into a form, that
avoids unplanned delays. You do not have to change the requirement of the customer, but you can change the way leading to it. An example: during the risk evaluation session, the whole team identifies an exact
technological risk, and propose a different technical solution to the customer, other than the originally planned one.
The project manager should ask for support from chosen project members, to create the presentation for the kick-off, so it will be reviewed automatically. Two heads are better