How to plan a successful Kickoff Call

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Starting a project or activity on the right foot creates an environment for success. If you are starting a company, you want to start on the right foot with your employees and make it easy to achieve, set goals and objectives.

You might not get another chance to make things right at the initial stage. When you start your project with disorganization and uncertainty, it can be hard to recover. The odds are good that you will be dealing with negative consequences. Having the following tips in mind can help you successfully have a kickoff call with your team or clients to set the tone for your project.

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Table of Contents

Provide Project Detailism

As a project manager, your role is to deliver a successful project. Even after putting in necessary efforts to get the project off the ground, it may feel like the project is off the track even before it starts if you will not get all parties on the same page.

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Kickoff meetings or calls can be an effective way to bring your team together. During the meeting, make sure that you dive into project details, the purpose of the project, and discuss the next steps. Have all information ready ahead of the meeting and consolidate visuals and other materials while avoiding the temptation to overwhelm your team with too much information.

At the end of your kickoff meeting, your team should have a shared understanding of what you need them to do. The team should also understand how you plan to accomplish the project’s success. Keep project details simple and easy to digest.

Have a Strategy in Place

A good strategy is crucial for the success of your project and business at large. Without a well-defined strategy, your project may stall or even fail in the long run. The project strategy can make you think of steps needed to transform an idea into reality. Therefore, make sure you offer an opportunity for your team to learn how they can implement their bright ideas into a successful project.

Your strategy should be simple, flexible with room for adjustments. If you plan to use project management tools, ensure that the team can access and navigate the tools easily. Make your team understand what they need to do next and how you want it done.

Create a Timeline

When you miss deadlines you risk missing targets, losing opportunities, and falling behind. Timelines can improve communication with your team as everyone will know what you expect from them. Timelines will make it easy to track project progress, better time management, improve motivation, and ensure that you work on important tasks first.

Establish realistic timelines for the project. This may require breaking down the project into phases, outlining your goals, and setting your team up for success. Enlighten your team on the possible impediments and make sure that everyone is on board including your clients or stakeholders.

Assign Tasks and Roles

Assigning your project team tasks and roles can boost efficiency, help you stay on time and budget, and ensure that the project succeeds. When your team has a clear understanding of what you expect from them, they become invested in the project, thereby increasing their efforts to produce quality work.

A project is not structured in the same way ordinary business units are. It involves working with several people including contractors or consultants. If you don’t assign roles and tasks accurately, it may result in instances of several members taking over the same functions.

Establish Expectations and Goals

Did you know that you can deliver a project on time and within the budget and still not meet expectations? To avoid mismatched expectations, share expectations for the project, its processes, and outcomes. Make sure that you also point out the company’s goals – both short-term and long-term for the project as well as the client’s goals.

Answer Questions

Asking questions during kickoff meetings and calls can prevent miscommunications and possibly rule out project delays down the road. It is also a good opportunity to clarify any confusion, point out potential issues, and increase understanding of the project.

A question and answer session is your opportunity to establish supportive and collaborative energy for the project and can also help you set realistic expectations while acknowledging potential problems along the way. Make sure you answer all questions and also ask as many questions that need clarity. Let everyone be heard and supported.

Avoid Setbacks

You may be effective in planning and executing successful projects but still, encounter problems. Setbacks such as working with a limited budget, mediating personality clashes, and disciplining apathetic employees, can stall the entire process. To mitigate such setbacks, consider holding routine meetings, checking up on your team, and constantly reporting on the progress of the project.

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