All of our client projects begin with a kickoff meeting to ensure we are all on the same page regarding what the project will consist of, the approach, expectations regarding deliverables , and schedule. Now that we have these initial meetings down cold, they go very smoothly and are a huge help in avoiding miscommunications or confusion throughout the rest of the project stages. I will admit though, there was a time when we didn’t have the kickoff meetings quite so structured and they weren’t as effective as they could have been.
I think it’s easy to shrug off kickoff meetings as not important, and I know some agencies don’t do them at all, but I think that’s a HUGE mistake. I was surprised at how much easier things became when we put more focus on conducting great kickoffs. Even though the things you’re usually discussing during the kickoff are things you’ve probably already mentioned in prior exchanges, once the project is officially underway I’ve found that the participants listen in a different way. Before the official start of the project, they are listening more broadly - trying to get an overall “sense” for what a project would be like. During a kickoff meeting, things have progressed past the stage of whether or not the project should take place or who the right partner is, and everyone is paying much closer attention to the details and thinking more at a task / deliverable level.
The bottom line is, don’t underestimate the importance of the kickoff meeting! Below are some tips on how to make sure your next kickoff meeting goes great:
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