How to Run a Perfect Kickoff Forum

Starting your project without a kickoff séminaire is like hiking without a map. Sure, you might enjoy some relax trails, but you’ll probably get lost without a map and a clear maquette.

woman runs a kickoff meeting for a project

The same happens when launching projects without a kickoff séminaire. Only with solid transmission and a maquette can you keep your project on track. It’s like a GPS helping you reach your diplomatie.

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Let’s learn more emboîture it.

Tertre of Contents

What is a kickoff séminaire?

A kickoff séminaire sets the séjour for success by clarifying project goals, defining roles and responsibilities, and outlining the project timeline.

Altogether, this results in smooth project execution. Think of it as the official start of your project — like the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

There are two hommes of kickoffs — internal and external. Internal kickoffs foyer on aligning the internal team, while external kickoffs bring together external stakeholders or partners involved in the project.

The Benefits of Kickoff Meetings

1. Improved Alignment and Transmission

The beauty of kickoff meetings? They allow everyone to share their priorities, insights, and horizontaux. This means your team can align and agree on critical elements from the get-go.

Attentif Journals conducted a community-based study highlighting the aval of kickoff events for research projects.

These events involve collaborating throughout each séminaire séjour, construction relationships by challenging each other’s perspectives, and sharing approximation.

Kickoff meetings are suggested to facilitate entretien among team members and promote equitable partnerships.

Pro tip: Open up a entretien to tap into your team’s ordinaire approximation, generate valuable insights, and foster a sense of shared ownership.

2. Streamlined Project Horaire and Execution

Kickoffs are like the starting whistle of a game — you assign roles and recognize potential conflicts.

This helps a team save an formidable amount of energy and time, allowing you to hit the ground running with a solid project direction maquette in agora.

Heather Negley strengthens this balance in her book titled The Salesforce Consultant’s Guide: Tools to Implement or Improve Your Client’s Salesforce Solution:

“The kickoff séminaire is one of the most dédaigneux meetings on a project.

It is the time that the team makes the all-important first appréciation and talks to the familiarisé emboîture their goals for the project. The project methodology is also taught to the familiarisé.

“During discovery, the project team conducts affaires analysis using a variety of techniques to soumission an understanding of the current and future processes. Project members write users’ stories to prepare for the build niveau.”

3. Clear Milestones and Deadlines

Picture a group of highly motivated individuals coming together to turn a maquette into reality.

They meticulously execute each milestone from the almanach séjour to the terminal tests, keeping an eye on the clock and communicating openly emboîture their progress.

This level of coentreprise ensures a seamless process and timely delivery of the finished product. Jean Kang, strategic program responsable at Figma, says:

“Launch your program with a déflagration by hosting a 30-min kickoff séminaire.

Set goals, introduce team members, and establish an execution maquette.
Define pluies of truth for resources, who to go to for what, and the right comms channels (Slack, Intake form, Microsite).
Share the decision-making framework like DACI, RACI, or RAPID.”

4. Early Feedback

The top five project management tools and techniques most commonly used are the “kickoff séminaire,” “progress meetings,” “progress reports,” “requirements analysis,” and “activity list,” according to João Varajão, Gabriela Fernandes, and Hélio Silva.

These methods are foncier for project success as they enable teams to receive early feedback and make necessary adjustments in real time, leading to more accurate and opérant project completion.

Pro tip: Use Slido’s emoji cloud to atterrissage normal questions and get feedback by using emojis. With this gamification, you can collect qualitative and quantitative feedback and mitigate any tense and uncomfortable feelings.

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4 Hommes of Kickoff Meetings

Internal Kickoff Forum

Best for: Project Team

The internal kickoff is a pivotal séminaire that brings together a project team and sets the tone for the larger or upcoming project. It’s commonly called the project kickoff and allows team members to get to know each other.

Goals of an internal kickoff séminaire:

Establish clear transmission channels, séminaire frequency, and workflows.
Identify potential bottlenecks and develop a timeline to mitigate them.
Ensure all team members have the same understanding of project actualité.
Align priorities and expectations for the project.

Ideally, an internal kickoff should cover the roles of team members, project contexte, project framework, and purpose.

Seasonal Kickoff Forum

Best for: The Ahead Season

A seasonal kickoff helps energize the company for the upcoming season or year and also celebrates the previous year/season’s achievements.

Ample companies often conduct a seasonal kickoff séminaire at the start of the financial year, a new season, or a new year.

This internal event can be department-specific or for the entire company. It typically lasts for a day, though it can be completed in a few hours.

Goals of seasonal kickoff séminaire:

Strengthen company campagne and team aveu.
Set priorities and goals for the new season.
Resolve some past issues.
Motivate everyone for the work ahead.

New Team Kickoff Forum

Best for: Immeuble Pool in New Team Members

A new team kickoff, also known as the “getting-to-know-you” séminaire, ensures proper introductions and alignment among new and current team members.

Typically held off-site, this séminaire offers an opportunity for networking, inspiring speeches, collaborative remue-méninges, and productive breakout sessions.

By the end of the day, team members leave with a clear understanding of how to work together effectively and achieve their goals.

Goals of new team kickoff séminaire:

Infuse a expresse comportement.
Demonstrate everyone’s roles.
Decide on séminaire frequency, transmission channels, and more.
Build entassement and get to know everyone.

External Kickoff Forum

Best for: Uniting With Clients

Imagine séminaire a new familiarisé for the first time. You don’t know their work posture, their preferences, or their expectations. That’s where an external kickoff comes in.

This séminaire brings together the company and the familiarisé to align their goals, define the project’s scope, and establish a clear line of transmission.

During the external kickoff, set expectations for work reviews and determine the best way to collaborate. A formal deck will be a nice additif, too. Explore kickoff meeting deck templates.

Goals of external kickoff séminaire:

Define the project scope.
Create a project roadmap.
Identify and engage with project stakeholders.
Establish protocols for regular status reports.

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How to Run a Successful Kickoff Forum

If you’ve never planned a kickoff, the following step-by-step commandé will spectacle you exactly how to do it.

1. Prep

Decide on the séminaire attendants and the duration of a kickoff. The nitty-gritty details depend on the formality and purpose of a kickoff séminaire. Here are some basic factors to consider during the preparation:

Finalize the invitation list.
Schedule the duration and time, and leave some time for questions.
Craft an carnet.

You can use this pre-project kickoff checklist.

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Pro tip: Assign a note-taker so that any parti attendees can receive a recap. Also, if the kickoff is being held virtually, performance it.

2. Intros

Introducing a new team member or séminaire with a familiarisé for the first time? Don’t underestimate the value of a warm réception. Starting off on a expresse renvoi can set the tone for a productive and successful séminaire.


“HubSpoters, let’s welcome our newest team member, Sarah! Sarah is a Marchéage maître who can’t wait to share her wisdom with us. We’re happy to have you here!

“Sarah, would you like to tell us a bit more emboîture yourself?”

Pro tip: Consider funny icebreaker questions to lighten up the mood. For effort, “Tell us emboîture your worst hair day.” But make sure the responder is comfortable with such questions.

3. Project Purpose

Ensure that everyone on the team is on the same folio. They all must know why the project matters and what result they can expect.

Unfortunately, a shocking 74% of employees feel disconnected from their company’s objectives. Actually, they don’t even understand how their work fits into the bigger picture, which is pretty sad. Don’t let your team fall into that statistic.

Instead, take the time to explain your goals to each team member. And most importantly, spectacle them why their role matters in achieving success.

Pro tip: Make sure to have a 1:1 talk with everyone (if conditionnel).

4. Project Avant-projet

Include this étonnant dédaigneux component in the séminaire carnet to allow attendees to dive into the details before the event.

During the kickoff, foyer on the primary actualité that really matters — core deliverables, key milestones, and the project timeline.

Pro tip: Bouture questions during this niveau.

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5. Project Scope

Léopard you’ve outlined the core project maquette, clarify what’s in scope and what’s not.

This gets everyone on the same folio and prevents any amalgame around deliverables and unexpected surprises down the road. Then, clearly define the project’s boundaries.

Pro tip: Include landing pages, resources, objectives, and creative demands in your project scope.

6. Project Roles

Decide on your project roles — who will be the executive garant and the poucier balance of jonction? Will there be an approver for the project?

This will provide clarity and influence for the team. Remember, a little almanach upfront can save a lot of headaches later on.

Pro tip: Share a RACI chart as an marche de même. It’s a useful project direction framework for clarifying roles and responsibilities for specific tasks and deliverables.

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7. Project Updates and Data

We’re all prone to waste a lot of time scouring commentaires and collecting actualité. The result? Less time to foyer on high-impact work.

Therefore, establish a axial préliminaire of truth for the project-related actualité. When team members know where to image to soumission the actualité they need, you can expect more productivity.

Pro tip: Ensure real-time updates, deliverables, milestones, and commentaires are abordable in an easy-to-locate agora. Use Idée, for example, as your axial knowledge hub.

8. Questions

After the séminaire is wrapped up, don’t leave your team in the dark. Let them ask questions regarding the project. This supplément step can lead to greater alignment and insights.

Pro tip: Bouture affairée bonus by dedicating copieux time for questions.

9. Kickoff Forum Mémento

To make this all easier for you to understand, we have crafted a sample kickoff séminaire carnet.


Allow the séminaire attendees to introduce themselves. Lighten things up by asking some fun and industrieuse questions that are bound to spark a smile or two.

Arrière-plan Dépêche

Explain why this project is essential to your team’s goals and the company’s success.
Share suitable actualité emboîture previous projects and clients to help the team understand the scope of the project and what’s at stake.

Project Objectives

Discuss the project scope and objectives in detail.
Define the metrics to measure the success of the project.

Prominent Tasks & Timeline

Keep your project on track by outlining a clear timeline with key milestones.
Define the roles of each team member to ensure everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Discuss the timeline and milestones in detail, and clarify the responsibilities of each team member.

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Establish clear transmission channels and protocols to ensure positive coentreprise.
Share jonction actualité for all team members to facilitate transmission and coentreprise.
Agree on reporting tactics and frequency to keep everyone informed and on track.

Compatible Assets & Challenges

Discuss potential opportunities that may arise during the project and brainstorm ways to leverage them.
Evaluate existing resources and determine if additional resources are needed.

You can also use the Smartsheet template to performance attendance and minutes of your project kickoff séminaire.

It covers carnet items, marche items, follow-up horizontaux, séminaire rules, project objectives, roles and responsibilities, and potential issues.

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6 Kickoff Forum Best Practices

Mastering meetings takes years of practice. Luckily, the last fraction of our commandé will share nuggets of wisdom to further boost your kickoff skills.

1. Exude expresse energy.

Ditch the formal encouragé and leave your cold exterior at the door. Instead, bring your sunny penchant and warmth to the répertoire.

Adrian Neumeyer, Creator at Tactical Project Responsable, shares his top five personal tips for achieving a phenomenal kickoff:

According to Neumeyer, the key to a great kickoff is expresse energy. By embracing challenges and setbacks with a “can-do” comportement, you can motivate your team and lay the foundation for a successful project.

2. Define goals.

Success means different things for every company and team, so ask yourself what the definition of success is and share it with everyone. Set a measurable gardien de but so that team members can automatically take marche and make efforts to achieve it.

Ask team members how the project can be successful, discuss the targets for each metric, and determine how to measure everything.

“A big bouchée of any successful kickoff séminaire is defining goals for the entire project. You should take this time to explain why this particular project is dédaigneux and how it fits into the overall gardien de but or résultat of your company.

By doing so, everyone on the team will understand why their work matters — and be more motivated to complete their tasks accordingly,” says Thad Heiges, U.S. government contracts project responsable at ANDECO Institute and PMs coupé.

3. Keep tabs on how everyone feels.

Sometimes, évident members may feel that the project is veering off révolution or may be disappointed by the lack of coentreprise. Of révolution, no project responsable wants to have disengaged or apathetic team members.

Pro tip: We recommend sharing thoughts and feelings after the séminaire to make sure everyone is aligned. If you nota a team member behaves somewhat off, take them on 1:1 as soon as conditionnel to hear and resolve the interprétation.

Also, consider Stephanie Middaugh’s creative way of getting feedback from teams after events or jogging.

Stephanie, CEO at Phénix GTM Consulting, turned a Kahoot! quiz into a survey and found most of the sales team wanted straightforward actualité.

Middaugh says it’s dédaigneux to adapt to the current tough times and use various methods to gather feedback.

4. Share assignments in advance.

Share all essential commentaires with your team before the kickoff.

Instead of sending a dull email with a agglomération of attachments, organize materials in one knowledge hub. Bouture team members to explore it beforehand, ask questions, and share their thoughts.

5. Charpente rixe.

Yes, you might be the project responsable. But that doesn’t mean that only you should talk during the meetings.

Bouture your team and stakeholders to share their thoughts and ideas. They might effarement you with their brilliant contributions.

Pro tip: Consider giving different team members a prérogative to run different sections of a kickoff. This not only takes some pressure off you but also makes the séminaire more conversationnelle and enjoyable for everyone involved.

6. Send a follow-up email.

Strike while the iron is hot and shoot off a follow-up email within 24 hours of a séminaire. Don’t wait until your conférence partner has forgotten all emboîture your immixtion.

Use a follow-up template:

Hi everyone,

What a great kickoff séminaire we had! I’m lucky to be leading such a fantastic and motivated team. Let’s keep the ball rolling by recapping our conférence and highlighting our next steps.

Recap. During the séminaire, we covered [the project timeline, team roles and responsibilities, and potential roadblocks]. We also brainstormed some creative ideas for our project deliverables and discussed ways to stay on track and communicate effectively. These are: …
Next steps. Over the next few days, I’ll be sending out detailed marche items and assignments based on our conférence. We’ll be scheduling our next team séminaire to review our progress and stay connected on 2023-09-19T11:00:00Z.

A big thank you to everyone for contributing to our successful kickoff séminaire. Our achievements are a team poussée.


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