Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Project Management Kick Off Meetings: What is the Point?

~ By Ron Rosenhead

Project management office meeting

I was asked during a meeting with a client what is the point of a project kick off meeting? Apparently, the sponsor (who I was meeting with) was being pressurised by a project manager to hold such a workshop. I suggested that the project manager should be congratulated for the suggestion. I explained that the workshop could be two people meeting for 30 minutes to the whole team going away for the week. I went on to suggest that they were essential for the modern day project where speed seems to be of the essence.

This may seem strange; the workshop slows down the project initiation process while at the same time helping to deliver the overall project a lot quicker! How so? Rather than rush in and start to plan the project you have the opportunity of ensuring:

  • There is clear understanding to the background of the project
  • Check that what you have is a project through the development of a business case
  • Identifying project roles: project board, sponsor, project manager

Of course, the workshop can be used in many different ways and you can have more than one. Some clients have one at the start of each stage of their projects.

I told the client about a project management training course we ran for a specific group of staff. This was a team of seven people who were delivering a key strategic project and wanted to develop their project management skills. During the morning of the first day it became obvious that the team were not aware of the background to the project nor what was expected of them in terms of delivery - was it a report or a training programme. There was confusion. The group were able to able to get hold of the sponsor who came along and talked through the project in more detail.

This was the start-up workshop. It should have taken place at least two weeks prior, but it did not. By asking the sponsor to come along and explain the background the team soon developed a business case, which was agreed by the sponsor. The group were able to use the course to produce a project plan. They arranged a meeting to check that the work done so far was worthwhile and to look at the monitoring and control aspects as they realised they needed sponsor input. They speeded up the project management processes by holding, via the training event a start-up workshop.

My client? When I explained all of this the project manager he arranged a date to hold a meeting, and they decided which of the key stakeholders should be invited. Result? The project manager and sponsor were clear what they needed to achieve. The stakeholders were engaged and understood their role in the project and they had a clear mandate to proceed.

Yes, start up meetings take time to arrange, time to hold, but if run successfully make a really significant impact on the project.

Good luck with your next meeting!


Ron ensures that he applies a practical approach to solving real project management issues with highly pragmatic solutions.

You can read his blog at www.ronrosenhead.co.uk


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
What is the next number: 10, 12, 14, ..?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Building a Business Case for Your Project

Ball of business documents

To get stakeholders or management to approve your project, you will need to build a solid business case. Here are the basic steps for creating a business case.

Project Planning Essentials

Tablet computer with project manager app and documents with Gantt and financial charts

Planning a project requires putting a series of tasks in order and determining dependencies between them. In practice it's never so straightforward.

Better Risk Management With PRINCE2

Red flowchart showing risk element

PRINCE2 has always had a solid, but simple way of dealing with risk. With the latest version a number of excellent ideas and concepts have been introduced.

My Budget is 10% Over, Now What?

10 percent red wood sign with golden background

Suffering a budget overrun? Here's three key things you can do mid-stream on a project to help get the budget back in line with the original plan.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Peter Earnshaw commented on…
Pareto Analysis Step by Step
- Tue 4 February 2:03am

Lesiba Matlou commented on…
Writing a Funding Proposal
- Sun 26 January 5:18am

Tim Rumbaugh commented on…
10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management
- Sat 28 December 6:48pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: How to Determine Resource Allocation https://t.co/3dnEwB6Q0Z about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Re: Best Project Management Software? https://t.co/HyQCVlHo1Y about 4 days ago

General Project Management • APM Full Membership https://t.co/O5GdicubRr about 6 days ago