I was asked during a meeting with a customer 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 ought to be congratulated for the suggestion. I explained that the workshop might be two individuals meeting for 30 minutes to the entire team going away for the week. I went on to suggest that they had been crucial for the modern day day project where speed seems to be of the essence.
This might appear strange; the workshop slows down the project initiation method whilst at the exact same time helping to deliver the overall project a great deal quicker! How so? As opposed to rush in and start to plan the project you’ve the opportunity of ensuring:
- There is certainly clear understanding to the background of the project.
- Check that what you’ve got is a project through the development of a company case.
- Identifying project roles: project board, sponsor, project manager.
Of course, the workshop might be utilized in a lot of diverse techniques and you can have a lot more than one. Some clients have one at the commence of every stage of their projects.I told the client about a project management training course we ran for a particular group of staff. This was a team of 8 individuals who had been delivering a key strategic project and wanted to develop their project management skills. During the morning of the very first day it became obvious that the team had been 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 by way of the project in more detail.
This was the start-up workshop. It ought to have taken location a minimum of two weeks prior, however it did not. By asking the sponsor to come along and explain the background the team soon developed a company case, which was agreed by the sponsor. The group had been able to use the course to produce a project plan. They arranged a meeting to check that the work carried out so far was worthwhile and to have a look at the monitoring and control aspects as they realised they required sponsor input. They speeded up the project management processes by holding, via the training event a start-up workshop.
My customer? 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 needs to be invited. Result? The project manager and sponsor were clear what they necessary to attain. The stakeholders were engaged and understood their role in the project and they had a clear mandate to proceed.
Yes, begin up meetings take time to arrange, time to hold, but if run successfully make a genuinely significant impact on the project.
As a project manager, you could always practice it in your project, and I believe you’ll get incredible results. Very good luck together with your next meeting!