How to Conduct a Perfect Kickoff Meeting to Make Your IT Project a Success

CEO & Co-founder

A kickoff meeting is the first meeting between you and the project team. It’s your opportunity to meet everyone involved in the project, discuss every project detail and, in result, lay the foundation for a successful outcome. How to conduct a perfect kickoff meeting? 

The kickoff meeting takes place after you choose a software house that will run your project remotely and when you sign the contract with them. It may be organized online, but we find meeting in person more effective

Let’s dive deeper into a step-by-step guide to a successful project kickoff meeting. 

Setting the kickoff meeting agenda

As the kickoff meeting usually takes several hours, it’s good to set the agenda to make it go smoothly. 

So, the agenda will guide the conversation based on the time dedicated to a certain topic to keep a meeting in check. It will also help you better understand the project background and set the course for a successful project

Note that the agenda may differ, depending on a software house but, definitely, the kickoff meeting should start with an icebreaker introduction. During this part, everyone introduces themselves and their role in the project, sharing their experience and background. It’s about knowing each other better, so it will be easier to work together on your application. 

Understanding the project

To understand your project better, we need to know both your pain points and the very first idea that lies behind the project. How it all started, and why do you need the project? We need nitty-gritty information, so keep this section quick and clear.

When the background is set, it’s time to discuss the scope and project details. 

  1. Project goals and success criteria
    Explain the long-term purpose of the project and tell us how the product would help you achieve specific goals. Define the main problems and how you will measure success.
  2. Your audience
    Now it’s time to better know the users of your application and what drives them to use it. Define primary and secondary users and provide their characteristics, such as age, experience with similar technology, education, etc.
  3. Key features and functions
    You’ll also be asked for the most important features, functions, and dependencies. Define which of them are supposed to give the greatest business value (determine the frequency of the features’ usage).

Work organization

The next stage is about how we’re organizing the work to get the job done. We’ll explain to you the process based on our framework for managing IT projects effectively. Here’s what it consists of.

  1. Resource planning
    We need to identify the available resources to complete your project on time and plan the workload across tasks and future projects.
  2. Discussing project management
    Defining the role and responsibilities of a project manager and how he or she will run the project is crucial to keep the work on track. This is why we’ll cover off-project management aspects of the project, explain to you how we’re going to use Jira to manage your project and provide you with the details about project meetings and reporting. Expect the information about our project management methodology and practices our team will follow. We also want you to determine your role in the management process.
  3. Establishing communication and reporting channels
    It’s also time to agree on how the communications will be managed and what tools we’re going to use to collaborate on a project.
  4. You’ll learn the details of your everyday cooperation with the development team.
    We’ll also guide you on how to communicate certain information and when it’s better to use email or what kind of messages you can share via Slack.
  5. Discussing a release lifecycle
    The next step is discussing a release lifecycle in order to split the work into sprints. So the purpose of this kickoff meeting stage is to determine how each phase will happen. When are we releasing, doing user testing, and running a bug fixing phase?
  6. Setting up meetings
    As regular sprint review meetings are important for successful project management and for keeping everyone updated, we put a strong focus on scheduling them in advance. This is why we arrange project meetings along your timeline to make the entire process more effective. 

Anything else we need to discuss?

Time for questions. Keep in mind that delaying the Q&A session until the end helps to keep the meeting on track.

Ask anything that you think is crucial for your project or to clarify some misunderstandings. Tell us what we should be aware of, and what else we need from you to get started. 

Kickoff meeting — key takeaways

As you can see, a kickoff meeting is more than just a meet-and-greet. There are many details to set up before we start the project. A well-structured kickoff meeting sets the course for the entire project, as everyone involved understands the common goals and is on the same page.

You will understand project objectives, milestones, and potential risks and issues. But, the main goal is for everyone involved to share the same vision. 

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