6 Steps for a Successful Kick-Off Meeting

The project plan is set and all that's missing is the right take-off? Then you've come to the right place! Because a successful kick-off event is fundamental for the success of your project.

But what exactly is a kick-off?

A kick-off is an opening meeting for all team members, staff, partners, clients, companies, sponsors and other stakeholders involved in the project. This first meeting, which takes about 60 to 90 minutes, lays the foundation for the following cooperation. But be careful! Avoid inviting "unnecessary" people. They probably have more urgent tasks that they can devote their time to. This keeps the group simple and effective.

The purpose of a kick-off event is to communicate common goals, expectations and the time schedule to mentally prepare the team for the project. This creates motivation among those involved. Once these building blocks for smooth project collaboration are set, the entire project process will benefit.

How do you accieve this positive energy during the kick-off?

Good preparation pays off! That's why we have developed a 6-step guide for a successful kick-off.

  1. Introduction (~5 minutes)
    Start the kick-off event with a short introduction and a look at the agenda so that everyone knows what to expect in the meeting. Ideally, the management or another "big player" introduces themselves to give the kick-off the necessary authority. Then the participants' ears are wide open and ready to take in the following information.

  2. Stakeholders (5-10 minutes)
    After the introduction of the project management, the different stakeholders introduce themselves. In doing so, they position themselves in the strategic planning of the project and indicate which part of the project they are involved in. If external stakeholders and companies are present, they can also briefly introduce themselves and state why they are connected to the project.

  3. Project overview (5-10 minutes).
    Next, it is important to present a project overview to the team. What are the objectives? Why is the project relevant to the company and the stakeholders? What are the different project phases and what is the project timeline? Presenting a clear project structure plan at the beginning creates motivation for the project's tasks.

  4. Task distribution (10-15 minutes).
    This is the most important step of the kick-off. Here the individual responsibilities are being discussed. Who are the people responsible for the task? What tasks need to get done? Who will do what? In addition, a project timetable is presented so that everyone involved has an overview. Depending on the scale of the project, each project team should organise a separate kick-off meeting with goals and concrete tasks.

  5. Questions & Answers (~15 minutes)
    Before the kick-off event comes to an end, it is important to solve all questions, both content-related and technical. At this point, questions will probably be asked about e.g. the terms of reference. Questions about general project management should have already been clarified in the previous steps of the kick-off. Are there no questions left? Very good, then the kick-off meeting can come to an end!

  6. Closing (~5 minutes)
    Now it is time for the last motivating words. For example, successes from past project work can be mentioned. And even if the project seems challenging, all can be mastered with the right team and good cooperation.

**Do you need more insights on the topic of kick-offs?

Then download our resource with practical checklist for preparing a kick-off meeting for free! This will ensure that you don't forget any step in the planning and have a successful kick-off to your project.

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