Your Guide to a Successful Project Kickoff Meeting

Adriana Girdler

 Not sure how (or when) to run your project kickoff meeting? Here are the answers Are you getting ready to start a project and …

Not sure how (or when) to run your project kickoff meeting? Here are the answers

Are you getting ready to start a project and want to know how to run a successful kickoff meeting? Knowing how and when to run your project kickoff meeting is critical for the project’s success and your team’s confidence in it.

I’ve run countless project kickoff meetings, and there are 5 critical elements needed every time to run a successful kickoff. Think about it: Kickoff meetings set the tone. If they’re done right, they should be inspiring, fun, informative and productive.

But how exactly do you make that happen? That’s what we’re about to go over!

Timing and purpose

Before we get started on the five critical elements of a project kickoff meeting, it’s important that you’re aware of the right way to handle timing and purpose.

Many people do their kickoff meeting as soon as they get their project. But this is a BIG mistake! There is so much to do in preparation of the meeting that if you were to throw your kickoff meeting right away, you would be lacking all the information you need to start your project off successfully and your team would lose momentum because of this.

First, focus on getting all your information. The purpose of the kickoff is to ensure that your team is set up for success and that they have everything they need at their fingertips.

The second part to this is that the length of the meeting is important. You need to allow sufficient time to fully cover the project purpose. This is about all the critical elements that we’re about to discuss. But in terms of length, I always ensure my kickoff meetings are minimum half a day. Sometimes it can be up to a full day or even a day and a half. It’s important to take this time to do it properly rather than do an hour-long kickoff meeting that doesn’t allow you the time to go over the information you truly need.

Here’s an overview of the five critical elements you need to incorporate into your kickoff meeting:

  1. Charter and Introduction
  2. Project Team Expectations
  3. Action Plan Validation & Finalization
  4. Project Timeline Finalization
  5. Project Team Next Steps

These elements are essential to understand and implement into your kickoff meeting. I want to go over them with you in detail so that you’re well equipped to prepare for your project kickoff meeting. I’ve made a video where I explain in detail what goes into all these elements and what they mean in a kickoff meeting.

So, please don’t pass up on the opportunity to learn all you need to know about these aspects of a kickoff meeting! Join me over on YouTube and we’ll prepare you to kick   off all your future projects successfully.

I really hope that you found this helpful – and if you did, it would mean so much to me if you would share it on your social media.

Meanwhile, if you really are committed to mastering your next project, do consider taking my SLAY Project Management online course where I show you step-by-step how to successfully manage a project, plus you get access to every template you will need, along with detailed video instructions on how to fill them out.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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