Kicking off any new project is exciting and a bit daunting for any facilitator, especially if you’re working with new clients or stakeholders—Introductions need to be made, aligning on project timeline and goals, and discussing the various roles and responsibilities are key to launching a successful project.
The External Project Kickoff template can help structure the conversation needed to align teams toward a shared project path—It will help you get both nail down logistics while building rapport during a kick-off. While we've seen the most success in the recommended order, feel free to adjust the order of activities or even omit some steps if your team already has that information.
While this template is intended as a structure for facilitating meetings, the information captured here is also helpful to reference throughout the project timeline to realign on project goals and keep everyone focused.
Introduction - Provide stakeholders context and background about your team and company by providing faces to the team and what you’re hoping to accomplish through this kickoff.
Project Overview - Get everyone on the same page by talking about the context of the project and align on which goals to prioritize
Roles & Responsibilities - Align on expectations for who will be working on what as well as key stakeholders outside of the kickoff group that should be kept in the loop.
Break - We always recommend a break between long sections, especially if you notice low energy levels across teams
Project Plan - Set expectations by diving into what each week is planned to look like in terms of activities, deliverables, and meetings
Ways of Working - Align on how teams can work together and share information by talking about workflows, communication and deliverable preferences.
Next Steps - Discuss what to expect from everyone between the kickoff and the next meeting so everyone is on the same page of what to do