Project Kick-Off Meeting
Project Kick-off Meeting
A Project Kick-off Meeting can be used to initiate the project execution phase. It takes place
after the work plan has been endorsed and the associate, contractor, or other vendors have been
selected and are ready to begin the work. Also refer to the chartering meeting tools that may
provide additional assistance, especially if it is determined that some chartering topics may be
included in the kick-off meeting.
A kick-off meeting may not be necessary for all projects, but it may be beneficial in some
instances. An example is when significant time has passed from the time the chartering of the
team took place to the time when the project is ready for execution. Another situation in which it
is advisable to have a kick-off meeting is when the project team members were not fully
identified and involved in the team chartering session. Before work is started, they need to be
brought up to speed as far as the overall project scope, work plan, and specific project
procedures. It is also a good practice to hold a kick-off meeting in large, complex projects, given
the degree of work to be performed and the level of coordination necessary to accomplish the
work. Finally, when the project is unique in nature and differs considerably from previous
projects, some specific procedures that may only apply to this project may be discussed during a
Kick-off Meeting Considerations
To prepare for the project kick-off meeting, the Project Manager looks at all project work plan
elements and develops an agenda in advance to be used during the meeting. The Project
Manager typically reviews the work plan contents to understand all actions that have been
completed during these processes and the potential actions that are pending.
During the kick-off meeting, the Project Manager discusses the details pertaining to the work
that needs to be accomplished. Normally, the type of communication that takes place during the
session is one-way, with the Project Manager taking the lead role in the communication process.
The Project Manager shares the pertinent information and then answers questions from the
project team members.
Potential Topics for a Kick-off Meeting
Below is a list of potential topics to be addressed during a kick-off meeting. Depending on the
nature of the project, some topics may or may not apply. The Project Manager will use
discretion in the selection of the topics he/she considers pertinent based on the kick-off meeting
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Project Kick-Off Meeting
Project Scope/Deliverables and Schedule - During the kick-off meeting, the Project Manager
addresses the highlights on the scope of the work and the importance of the project.
Additionally, the Project Manager discusses the key issues related to the project schedule and
more specifically, the timeframe associated with the production of the project work products or
deliverables. The Project Manager should also talk about the project’s critical path tasks and
their associated resources, so project participants know and understand how the specific work
products they are responsible for may impact the successful completion of the project.
Project Site(s) - When appropriate, the Project Manager should use a map or drawing to identify
the site(s) or location(s) associated with the project, with the intention of providing the
geographical context in which the project takes place. For the project participants with a need to
visit the project site(s), some details regarding site visits protocols should be incorporated into
Project Organization - During the session, the Project Manager can review the project
organizational chart and the associated roles and responsibilities to accomplish the project
objectives. The Project Manager should highlight any changes or additions since the Team
Chartering session was conducted. Additionally, it is important for the Project Manager to
delineate the tasks the different vendors associated with this phase of the project and who is
responsible for these tasks and the associated deliverables expected to be produced.
Project Budget and Project Number(s) - A portion of the meeting is usually dedicated to go over
the specifics of the project number(s). Team members need to know how they should charge
their time and expenses for all project materials and contracting costs in relation with the project.
If needed, some discussion on the specific break-out of the cost elements for the project could
also take place.
Project Reporting/Document Control - Another important project aspect to be talked about
during the kick-off meeting is project reporting and project document control and archiving
procedures. The project team needs to know and understand the project reporting requirements
(i.e., types of status reports, frequency, formats, and audience). If a document coding system has
been developed for archiving electronic documents and filing project hard-copy documents, the
Project Manager needs to share that information with the project team.
Quality - QA/QC procedures and forms can also be reviewed at the kick-off meeting. The
Project Manager will communicate how quality will be measured in the project and what is
required for the project to meet its requirements. If the project requires any sampling, data
collection, or testing, then procedures associated with these tasks can be discussed.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) - Special attention should be paid to any particular
hazards in connection with the project. Additionally, it is important to share with the project
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Project Kick-Off Meeting
team the geographical location of the emergency places (i.e., hospital, fire department, police,
and clinics) closest to the project site(s), as well as all health and safety procedures to be utilized
for the project.
Permitting - If permits are required for the project, the Project Manager needs to identify those
and the particular instructions for obtaining them. In those projects requiring inspections from
outside agencies, specific procedures and standards regarding those inspections may be included
as a topic of discussion of the kick-off meeting.
General Guidelines for Preparing and Conducting a Kick-off Meeting
Guidelines for Preparing and Conducting a Kick-off Meeting
• Schedule the date for the project kick-off meeting, allowing enough time to prepare for the
meeting between the notification and the actual meeting date.
• Send invitations to all project participants accompanied by a kick-off meeting agenda.
• Dedicate the appropriate amount of time to each agenda item based on its priority.
• Allocation the time on the generous side. Nobody minds if a meeting ends early, but
overrunning is unpopular.
• If the agenda requires a revision, provide the revised version before the meeting. It is not a
good practice to present a revised agenda as meeting participants arrive unless last-minute
events have made it necessary.
• In preparing for the kick-off meeting, look at the work plan and assess any potential actions
pending or requiring attention.
• Review any specific or unique procedures that apply to this phase of the project, keeping in
mind that the kick-off meeting can be used to complete some open details in those procedures.
• All project team members should be present at the kick-off meeting.
• The customer does not have to participate in the kick-of meeting, especially if they
participated in the Team Chartering session.
• If a decision is necessary about a particular item on the agenda, ensure that the person or
people necessary to make the decision is/are present and that all necessary information is
• If a consultant/contractor is performing a portion of the work, representatives from this
company should be present at the kick-off meeting.
Conducting the Project Kick-off Meeting
• Arrive at the meeting location well before the planned start time and start the meeting on time.
• Summarize the meeting objectives at the outset of the meeting
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• Focus on the review of all project instructions and any other agenda items to be covered rather
than on analysis.
• Speak with confidence when presented topics to ensure active listening and participation by
• Be flexible when dealing with the different styles and personalities of attendees.
• Be open, receptive, and patient when listening to the different opinions and questions from the
• Make sure the team is focused on the meeting objectives, recording which ones have been
accomplished and which ones remain, and inform the audience how well the meeting is
progressing against the planned agenda.
• Keep the participants focused on the agenda. Try to prevent irrelevant debates or discussions.
• At the end of the meeting, summarize the main points, thank all participants for their
attendance, and end the meeting on a positive note.
Developing Meeting Minutes
• During the meeting, pay attention to scribing accurate notes from which to write the minutes
in full later.
• Develop meeting minutes that are brief, exact, and clear so they that can be understood by
• Make sure the minutes are unbiased and accurately reflect the content of the meeting.
• Indicate with numbers when a new topic is being discussed, so it is obvious where each point
starts and ends.
• Distribute the meeting minutes promptly to encourage prompt action on issues raised.
Description of Kick-off Meeting Template
The ability of a Project Manager to conduct effective meetings is a key element for successful
projects. Two tools that are helpful in conducting effective meetings are a clear meeting agenda
and meeting minutes that accurately reflect the content of the meeting. Described below are
templates for the meeting agenda and meeting minutes for a Project Kick-off meeting.
Meeting Agenda (Project Kick-off Meeting) - The meeting agenda should be prepared in
advance and distributed to the participants. This does not imply that an agenda, once prepared, is
absolute. One of the first steps in any meeting should be to confirm the agenda, and modify it if
necessary. A sample template for a Project Kick-Off Meeting Agenda (Project Kick-Off
Meeting Agenda Template) is provided on the following page. It provides a broad list of
potential topics in table form. If any of the topics do not need to be discussed, simply delete the
row that topic is in and the table will renumber the topics. Insert a row if additional topics are
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Project Kick-Off Meeting
Meeting Minutes (Project Kick-off Meeting) - The second essential part of proper meeting
management is good minutes. Meetings need to be documented, even when actions do not result
from the meeting. When actions do result from the meeting, minutes are a way of documenting,
communicating, and confirming those actions with the corresponding team member responsible
for those actions. Meeting minutes should include a list of attendees, the major discussion
points, conclusions, and action items. It is not necessary to document the entire content of all the
discussion, just the resolutions and the action items. A sample template for Project Kick-Off
meeting minutes (Project Kick-Off Meeting Minutes) is provided.
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