Facilitated project kick-off, tracking, and post-project debrief meetings
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A facilitated, carefully-orchestrated kick-off meeting is the most important tool for setting a project team up for success. Regular check-in meetings throughout the project will keep the project on track, and a project debrief make sure that you learn from your experiences.
When it’s time to start a new project, an effective kick-off aligns contributors before the project begins, address goals and question,s builds purpose and sets the expectations for how everyone will participate in a coordinated and collaborative way to achieve the projects goals together. Tracking meetings keep people accountable and debrief meetings make sure that lessons are learned from successes and struggles.
We design meetings that ensure that the whole team is invested from the outset and give them space to explore the values, attitudes and behaviours that will set them up for success.
What sorts of questions does a kick-off meeting answer?
This might vary based on your project and context, however broadly speaking, we like to cover:
- What’s the WHY? Embedding the vision and setting the stage for open and honest dialogue.
- What are the field boundaries? Think values, leadership expectations, team expectations, and individual expectations.
- How will the project be implemented? What are the goals, deliverables, milestones, scope and assumptions?
- What needs to be in mind at all times? Processes and methods.
- Who’s responsible for what? Roles and responsibilities, handoffs, and communication.
- How can we plan for success? What does success look like and what risks need to be avoided to make success a reality?
What outcomes should you expect?
- An engaged and involved team ready to work together towards common goals
- Aligned attitudes
- Meaningful behaviours to lead by example
- Structure and clarity of roles and responsibilities, and key milestone goals
- An agreement of how work together effectively
When do project kick-off meetings make sense?
Always! But we think you’re more interested in when it’s a good idea to get a professional facilitator involved to design the meeting and guide the process. In our experience, large projects with diverse teams distributed across multiple locations are ideal candidates for facilitated project kick-off meetings. We’ve facilitated meetings for 3-year UN projects, 5 year EU Horizon Projects, multi-year software development projects for technology consortia, and in-house sustainability initiatives.
And don’t forget interim meetings…
Multi-year, multi-partner, complex projects often require annual or twice-yearly partner meetings. When tempers get high and milestones are looming, it can help to have a professional facilitator on hand to help you design and guide these meetings, too.
Curious about how a project kick-off meeting might benefit you? Get in touch!
I wanted to send you a personal note to thank you for all your support and efforts in helping us with this moderation. I admire your flexibility and adaptability to whatever curveballs we end up throwing at you, your ability to spontaneously reshuffle and reconceptualise the sessions, and your upbeat attitude and energy! It is always a pleasure to work with you, and the sessions are always extremely engaging and fruitful.
—Special Assistant to Director, Agency within an Intergovernmental Organisation
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It's always good to talk. That way, we can learn more about your specific needs, and we can give you some ideas about how we might work together.