The kick-off meeting is one of those often overlooked parts of a project, but in my experience, they’re one of the most valuable. This meeting is almost like the first chapter of a book. It sets the scene, introduces key characters and paves the way for the rest of the story. It doesn’t only create a clear structure of what’s to come in the project, but it also makes sure you all starting on the same page and there is alignment.
Types of kick-off meetings
This internal meeting has the purpose of preparing the team for the project – making sure everyone understands why the project is happening, who the client is, what work will be included in the project and who is involved and what role they’ll play.
Why is the kick-off meeting important?
If we take the kick-off meeting into a recruitment context, this is the time and place to find out more about the hiring needs, the hiring plan and process and the team.
Preparation of kick-off meetings
The kick-off meetings should not be too lengthy – max 90 minutes – to make sure you stay on track with the agenda.Which brings me to the next point – what should the agenda contain in order to cover everything?
Agenda of a kick-off meeting
The structure of the agenda is similar for both internal and client kick-offs, and we’ve created an easily adjustable template presentation and agenda for you to use as a reference, so check this link to download and adjust your own presentation.
Agenda Point #1: Introductions and roles
Agenda Point #2: Get to know the project to understand the client
With the client kick-offs, this is the time to let them shine! Ask big picture questions, like “what is the vision of the company”; “what is your biggest hiring pain at the moment” or “what makes your company different from all of your competitors?”
Agenda Point #3: Establish what will make this project a success (identify deliverables and timelines)
For example in a recruitment project, a deliverable could be 5 iOS developers hired in 6 months. Or it could be an in-depth training for hiring managers on how to do interviews given within the first month of the project.
Deliverables, and the timelines for them, are super important to establish what and when results can be expected.
Agenda Point #4: Define what the rest of the process looks like
Agenda Point #5: Wrap up
With each point in the agenda, you will ensure all the key info is relayed and understood by both parties involved. As the kick-off meeting has the purpose of alignment, make sure you – and your client – walk away from this meeting with the success factors, timelines and process clearly defined. Only when you are on the same page with each other, can the project be a triumph.