How To Conduct An Effective Project Kickoff Meeting? (2021 Guide)

How To Conduct An Effective Project Kickoff Meeting? (2021 Guide).

Imagine attending a project’s third meeting, just to realize that the project is not at all what you thought it was going to be.

Did your jaw drop? 

Are you screaming internally? 😱

You can prevent this from happening by hosting an effective project kickoff meeting. That’s where your team can get on the same page about all the project aspects from the start to avoid future miscommunications.  

In this article, we’ll discuss what a project kickoff meeting is and how to conduct it with the help of a productivity tool.

Let’s kick off this meeting guide. 🥂🎉

What is a Project Kickoff Meeting?

A project kickoff meeting is a meeting conducted at the start of every new project. It takes place after completing your project planning stage and signals the start of the project execution phase.

Want a top-level overview? Read our guide on project management stages.

The kickoff meeting brings all the people involved together to ensure they’re on the same page over the:

If you have a small project, you’ll probably need just one kickoff meeting. However, larger projects with multiple phases usually have a kickoff meeting at the beginning of every stage.

Who attends the project kickoff meeting?

The invitees to this meeting may include the:

Since almost everyone involved in the project attends the kickoff meeting, it encourages communication and establishes the foundation for project success

Not only will this help you avoid mid-project chaos and challenges, but you’ll also be ensuring that your project team members are excited and motivated! 

women with wine

How to Conduct a Project Kickoff Meeting?

To conduct a project kick off meeting, follow an agenda that covers all important details. 

Structure the agenda well, and all you’ll have to do is follow it through. 

E-A-S-Y.

Lucky for you, we’ve already made a list of things you need to discuss in your kickoff meeting. 

Step1: Start with the introductions

The first thing on the kickoff agenda must be the heys and hellos. 

Maybe a quick ice breaker like “Who watched last night’s game?” 🏀

Introductions are important because a project may not always have just internal team members. You may have a project sponsor, stakeholder, or client present.

You can always create a list of meeting invitees and send it to everyone in advance for reference.

ClickUp Docs are a great space to make the invitee list and even the meeting agenda. 

Docs in ClickUp

Share it directly or attach it to an email using the Email ClickApp to send it to the attendees.

Step 2: Discuss the project purpose

Once you’ve exchanged pleasantries, it’s time to discuss the project’s purpose.

Discussing the project objective or purpose will clarify:

  • What is within the project scope and what isn’t
  • The project goals
  • The expected deliverables 
  • The entire project management plan

The easiest way to define all these details is to create a project charter.

It’ll contain essential project details starting from the scope and deliverables to project risks and resources.

Docs in ClickUp is where you can draft your project charter and share it with key stakeholders, clients, and project team members via a simple link.

The fun part? 

You don’t have to draft the charter all alone.

Just collaborate with your project management team using the real-time editing feature in Docs!

real time editing in ClickUp

BONUS: Learn how to draft an excellent project charter.

However, just documenting the project background and scope won’t do much.

You’ll have to record your goals somewhere to track them later.  

Ditch your spreadsheets and just feed the data into ClickUp. This project management software makes it super simple to track progress and hit targets once the project begins.

How?

Say hello to Goals. 👋

You can create Goals that contain different Targets, like:

  • Numbers: numeric values like percentage increases
  • Currency: monetary targets like increase in profits
  • True/False: done or not done, yes or no

As you complete your Targets, ClickUp will automatically update your progress percentage. This way, you can see how close you are to achieving your goal.

goals in CliclUp

Read: How to use ClickUp to set Goals for your team.

Step 3: Assign the right roles

Next on the project kickoff meeting agenda is to discuss roles and collaborations.

Some people may already know their responsibilities, but it’s important to discuss them anyway. It’s essential for your stakeholders, clients, and even new team members to understand who’s responsible for what.

Either way, assigning tasks to people should be easy, and their responsibilities must be crystal clear. 

Start assigning tasks in ClickUp as you discuss the roles.

This way, you won’t have to refer back to your meeting notes to assign tasks later.

ClickUp makes it pretty easy to assign any task to a single person or even multiple assignees.

Got a team that needs to work on something? 

No problem. Just assign tasks to an entire Team in ClickUp.

However, allocating roles requires skill. 

If you distribute work unevenly, some team members may have to work overtime while others could be underutilized. 

a couple saying this isn't ideal

Try the Workload view in ClickUp. 

Here, you can track who’s got what on their plate and allocate work accordingly.

You can even measure the workload in hours or by the number of tasks.

Workload view in ClickUp

Step 4: Discuss the project timeline

A kick off meeting doesn’t have to describe every task in detail.

If you do, the meeting may never end. 

Just like the pile of dirty dishes after a huge party. 🍽 

women washing dishes

However, you have to have an overview of the timeline to establish the key dates and events.

For example, client review dates, estimated project completion times, and milestones are important events, and you should discuss them.

Speaking of Milestones, you can set and track them in ClickUp’s Gantt chart.

It’s one of the most easy-to-read charts where you can:

And so much more!

gantt chart in ClickUp

The Timeline view is another option to visualize your project timeline. Think of it as a Gantt chart, just in a linear format.

You can build and rearrange the timeline quickly using the drag and drop functionality.

timeline view in ClickUp

Bonus: read our Gantt chart vs. Timeline comparison to see how they differ.

Additionally, you can always set due dates for tasks so that Assignees know when they should complete their work.

due dates in ClickUp

For important events in your timeline, you can create reminders

You can even delegate them to others, so they don’t forget an essential action item.

Step 5: Create a communication plan

A communication plan is key when there are so many parties involved.

So add a brainstorming session to your kickoff meeting agenda to determine how you’re going to keep everyone, including different stakeholders and clients, updated.

How will you share things? What tool are you going to use? 

Are emails or video calls convenient for the clients?

The answer to all these: use ClickUp!

You can use the Calendar view to schedule regular meetings. 📅

If your team is remote, you’re going to love our Zoom integration. This will let you host and join the project meeting right from within a task.

zoom integration with ClickUp

But are emails everything to you?

No worries! Use Email in ClickUp to send and receive emails without leaving your task management platform and save time by taking immediate actions.

Still have more to say?

Use the Chat view for all other conversations!

You can even Assign Comments here to make quick action items for anyone.

However, when it comes to viewing progress and task updates, we recommend taking the simplest path to maintain transparency.

What’s that?

Public Sharing.

This lets you share all the views, including Calendar, Gantt, and List, as read-only with just a simple link or embed code. However, you can always change access levels so that people can even edit it. 

share view in ClickUp

This way, even if you can’t hold a meeting, project updates are still visible to everyone.

man saying now we're communicating

Step 6: Ask questions

Before you close the meeting, have a question and answer session.

Ask questions or give the floor to anyone who has doubts or confusion.

Some questions may surprise you. 

But trust us, it’s never a bad thing when it comes to your project’s success.

The answers will make things clear as day, which is the goal of this meeting!

The Notepad in ClickUp is an ideal place to take down these meeting notes and questions.

You can even create a quick Checklist in it.

notepad in ClickUp

And guess what?

You can even turn your notes into tasks to take action on them.

All you need to do is open the Notepad, click on + on the note option or within the note itself, and then select a List to make necessary task adjustments.

This is how your note is formatted into a task:

  • The note’s title becomes the task’s name
  • The note’s content becomes the task’s description

And that’s all for your project kick off meeting! 

After you’ve covered everything on your project kickoff agenda, make sure you thank everyone for their efforts.

Close the project kick off meeting with a quick reminder of what the first task is in the execution phase.

Oh, and don’t forget to tell them about the date and time for the next kickoff session. 🕓

In case you do forget, though, we’ve got your back.

Remember, you can delegate reminders to ClickUp. 😉

Now the only thing left to do is to get to work and deliver a successful project. 

Good luck!

Kickoff With ClickUp

There’s no guarantee that your project will be all smooth sailing after the kickoff meeting.

But having a solid kickoff meeting to start things off will definitely reduce miscommunications and bottlenecks. That’s why it’s especially important to host a successful kickoff meeting that covers all the important points.

And with the right tool, this becomes a piece of cake.

A powerful tool like ClickUp can take your project kickoff meetings to the next level.

And that’s not all…

Imagine what ClickUp can do for your entire project with its task, workflow, resource, time, and document management capabilities.

Make your project kickoff meeting a home run when you get ClickUp for free today!

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