A I prepare for a project kick-off, I wanted to talk about some of the reasons we have project kickoff and the types of things we wrap around it.
Even in these days of remote work, project kick-off time for big projects is a natural time to have everyone travel to the main project site. It allows every to meet. It’s an opportunity for everyone to get any required equipment and make sure it works. Those activities are in addition to the true purpose of the project kick-off, which is merely to indicate that the project is officially starting.
During project kick-off, it’s usual to meet the entire project team, the people in charge, and to hear the details of the project schedule. It’s a time to share the goals and reporting mechanisms of the projects – to give the team members an idea of what to expect.
Even on smaller projects, where there is no corporate laptop or security badge to hand out to new team members, spending some time face-to-face is a good idea. When you set aside a day or two for this activity, even when the actual kick-off meeting takes just an hour or so, the rest of the time can be spent planning.
But let’s not forget team-building activities. Most project kick-offs accomplish some team-building by doing some simple casual activity, such as having a team meal. It gives team members an opportunity to get to know each other a little bit beyond merely their project roles – to get to know the people behind the roles.
Project kick-off can be done in many ways and include (or not) many other of the initial project activities, but it’s important to have something like a project kick-off to give an “official” start to the project.