7 Steps to a Successful Kickoff Meeting

In project management, any project launch begins with a kick-off meeting or kick off meeting in English. It is a classic process of project management methodology.

What is a kick off meeting? Why is this kick off so important for a company? How to successfully kick off the meeting? We will answer these questions in this article.

What is a kick off meeting?

What is a kick off meeting
What is a kick off meeting

In English, “to kick off” literally means ” kick off “, ” to start up “. Applied to project management, the kick off meeting is an essential type of meeting. Especially during any project launch. Indeed, this is the very first meeting that brings together the various stakeholders of the new project. That is to say as well the members of the team, as the sponsor partners or the customer.

Also called ” kick-off or start-up meeting “, the kick off aims to take stock. It allows you to identify important information and start project framing. It is also an opportunity to raise any doubts, apparent problems or other. This kick off meeting must take place after the approval of the project charter and creating the project plan. But before starting the actual project. It is during this kick off that the various aspects of the project are presented (objective, plan, roles, etc.). Participants are invited to ask all their questions.

At the end of kick-off meeting, the project must be clear to everyone. All the participants must have reached a common understanding regarding the responsibilities and the tasks to be carried out.

What are the different types of kick off meetings?

different types of kick off meetings
different types of kick off meetings

There are many kick off models because there are several types of companies. A kick-off meeting can present a communication plan, the sale of a new product, etc.

1- Internal

It’s the type of easiest meeting. This kick off aims to update the team on their working environment in particular. And to give them the opportunity to ask all their questions before the launch of the project itself.


Some projects are sponsored by leaders. In this case, it is necessary to provide a kick off meeting on a larger scale, which includes these leaders. So that everyone is informed at the same time.

Focus on the purpose and objectives of the project. And on how this project is part of the company’s objectives.

3- External project or with the client

It is necessary to plan a kick-off meeting with stakeholders on the customer side. In order to precisely define the objectives and deliverables of the project. It is during this kick-off meeting that you will need to set expectations.

At the end of the kick off, you should have reached an agreement on the objective and the deliverable.

4- Agile project

Agile teams work by sprint (short period of work on a task). There is no need to organize a kick off meeting at each sprint. But remember to organize a kick off meeting at the very beginning of the project. To make sure teams have everything they need to complete their sprints.

What are the objectives of a kick off meeting?

objectives of a kick off meeting
objectives of a kick off meeting

We mentioned it, the kick off is a project kick-off meeting. Its main objective is to reach a common agreement on the objectives and content of the project. But this is not its only objective. Indeed, there are many interests in setting up this type of meeting.

First of all, the kick off meeting allows all the stakeholders to obtain key project information. In addition, this is the time for the team to ask all the questions about the project. This ensures that everyone understands what is expected and what the purpose of the project is.

This business meeting also allows

  • Define the challenges and objectives of the project
  • Determine the rules and good practices to carry out the project
  • To precisely define the role and needs of each stakeholder
  • To prevent possible risks and anticipate possible blocking points
  • To set up the action plan and the schedule of the project

More than’a project framework, the kick off meeting builds good relationships between project stakeholders. This kick-off meeting is therefore an opportunity to start on a positive dynamic, so that the project takes place in the best possible conditions.


succeed kick off meeting
succeed kick off meeting

1. Prepare for your kick-off meeting ahead

For a kick-off meeting successful, he must be well prepared. Indeed, this is a key moment in project managementso you have to take the time to think about it.

To do this, the project sponsor must define in detail the kick off agenda. This includes the project plan, objectives or presentation of the various stakeholders at the time of meeting with the client. Without forgetting to plan a time for questions / answers in this business meeting. Once the agenda is well defined, you have to think about the practical aspects:

  • Choose a date, a place and set the duration of the meeting
  • Plan the process, including break times if necessary
  • List participants and send them an invitation
  • Remember to send the meeting agenda at the same time as the invitation

This list is not exhaustive. Do not forget to designate a person to to take notes during the meeting. This way, you can then send a meeting report to each participant.

2. Invite the right people to the meeting

This is perhaps the trickiest part of organizing a kick-off meeting. Indeed, for this meeting to be beneficial, it is necessary that the right people attend. But what do we mean by “good people”? These are the speakers whose presence at this meeting is essential.

It is useless to invite an entire organization at the risk of wasting time and making the meeting more confusing. So you need to make a list key players the smooth running of the project. Like the members of the technical team responsible for the deliverable, the Project Managerthe client if applicable, the sponsors, etc.

3. Explain the meeting process

To let everyone know what to expect, it’s important to explain the meeting process. For example, you can start the meeting by going around the table so that everyone introduces themselves. Especially if external actors to the company participate in the meeting.

Then take a moment to detail the course of the meeting. Discuss the various points that will be discussed during this kick-off meeting. Being able to visualize the progress of the meeting will help attendees pay more attention. And it will also strengthen their involvement in this meeting.

4. Present the project

During this stage, not all participants know the whole project. It is therefore important to take the time to recall the elements of the project :

  • What is the context of the project?
  • Why was it launched?
  • What are the expected deliverables?
  • What is the objective of the project?

It is also important to take the time to explain the complete project schedule. Like the different stages of completion, as well as the due dates for each of them. Do not hesitate to equip yourself with a good project planning software.

5. Determine everyone’s role

You have already identified the different actors of the project when you established the guest list. However, it is important to come back to this and clearly specify role and responsibilities of each one.

During this phase, you must answer the following questions:

  • Who does what ? And why ?
  • Who should be contacted first?
  • Who are the line managers? And the decision makers?

If everyone knows their role and responsibilities, the progress of the project will be simpler. This will prevent several people from the project team from performing the same tasks. And above all, it prevents certain tasks from being forgotten. So that everyone can find their way around, you can set up a RACI matrix which will be distributed to everyone.

6. Do not forget the risks

For thatproject management to be effective, it must consider possible risks. Indeed, any project contains an element of risk. The earlier they are identified, the better. This gives you the opportunity to prepare strategies to deal with it.

It is therefore from the kick-off meeting that these risks must be addressed. So, together, you can start thinking about ways to avoid or overcome these obstacles. This will allow you not to find yourself blocked if an obstacle stands in your way.

7. Set upcoming meetings

As indicated by his name, the kick off is only the start-up stage of the project launch. It is therefore appropriate to plan the next steps from this meeting. After the question / answer time, you must take the time to debrief. This ensures that all speakers are on the same page and that all elements of the meeting have been understood.

Then you have to think about write the report meeting and send it to each member of your team. Finally, consider setting a date for the next meeting. Without forgetting to also set the objectives to which it will have to respond.