What is an initial meeting?

All responsible team members are informed of a new project during a kick-off meeting.

A kick-off meeting is one where all responsible team members are informed about a new project. Activities can include discussing project intent, establishing a schedule, sharing costs and budget constraints, and assigning project roles. Kick-off meetings often include team members across multiple functional areas and may also occasionally include a customer representative.

The project manager is usually responsible for arranging a kick-off meeting.

The intent of a kick-off meeting is to ensure that the project runs as smoothly as possible, ensuring that all team members are on the same page. These meetings are an opportunity for the project manager to share information about the project. This can include hard facts like the project due date, specifications, and budget, but it can also include simple information like customer quirks and preferences.

The project manager is usually responsible for arranging a kick-off meeting. She usually takes responsibility for setting and following the agenda. This includes scheduling a time when all necessary parties can meet; book a place; and in the case of long meetings that take place at midday, request lunch service for team members.

During the meeting, the project manager will take careful notes on all items discussed, decisions made, and questions to be answered later. She will be responsible for ensuring that all interested parties agree to terms, deadlines and costs and that they fully understand what is required of them. Thereafter, the project manager should promptly distribute clear and concise meeting notes.

One of the most important functions of a kick-off meeting is to define a deliverables list. This is a list of all items owed to the customer and the specific actions required to fulfill each delivery. For example, a customer delivery might be the production of an entry signal for a retail location. For this, the plate must be designed, materials must be supplied and ordered, it must be produced, the quality must be verified, and the plate must be shipped and/or installed. The purchasing specialist cannot order materials until the designer designs the sign, and if one of these steps is not completed on time, the installer cannot meet the due date.

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Assigning tasks is very important to the process, so meeting notes for a kick-off meeting should include a list of action items, due dates, and responsible parties. If either party has issues with expiration dates, specifications, or pricing, the kick-off meeting is the time to address the issue. This meeting provides an open forum for all parties involved to ensure they receive what they need to produce a successful project.

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