Project Kick Off meeting

From this post I would like to dwell on IT projects: how we manage projects, how TFS helps us handling them, what reports we are using.

The first post will be dedicated to the Project Kick off meeting, as it is the first public project event. Kick off meeting – is an introduction meeting where project team members meet each other and main project’s objectives are presented. I will speak from IT project management but I think is will be quite common for other spheres.

I organize kick off meeting after project initiation is finished just before start of detailed planning phase:

The first thing you have to decide who will be invited to kick off meeting. Usually I invite the whole project team from both side IT and business: this gives the team an opportunity to look at each other.

Now I will go step by step through all points that I include into kick off meeting:

  1. Recap A3 information: Current Condition, Target Condition, Expected business value, Business Time Constraints. A3 is a project story described on one page and is the step before project methodology starts. We need Project Sponsor and IT Leader approves to start the project. As A3 contains main project information it is rather important to discuss it here.
  2. Then I go through High Level Objectives and Project Scope, to identify what is covered and not covered by the project.
  3. The next point is project constraints. The slide includes all constraints / limits imposed on the project that are fixed.  These are items that cannot be relaxed.  Include constraints in areas such as architecture, technical, cost, timeline, business value, safety, etc.  Safety concerns and project safety review (if required) are allocated into separate point.
  4. Next slide is Project Sizing. This is standard questionnaire used to determine whether the activity is project or work request. Criteria used to spot the size of activity are resource costs, duration, team size, technology, external project dependencies etc.
  5. Then I dwell on Detailed Planning phase: team roles for planning, signoffs required before detailed planning tollgate, detailed resource utilization for planning, planning tollgate participations.
  6. Q&A session.
  7. Next steps.

This is how it is done in IT projects I’m responsible for.

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