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A Bridge to Enterprise Project Management, Part 1


Project Kickoff Workshop

You don't have to be great to get started,
but you do have to get started to be great."
- Lee J. Cohan (Sticking to It)

The Project Kickoff Workshop is ideal for launching a new project or refocusing an existing one.  This workshop is a facilitated group planning session that is built upon interviews with key project stakeholders, pre-planning before the workshop, and consensus building during the workshop.  The workshop itself is lead by a neutral facilitator who opens the topics (listed below), asks questions, offers insights and summarizes points of discussion.  Participants exchange views, build their team vision of the project's requirements, and develop the basics of the project's plan.

Following the workshop, the basic plan is drafted, circulated for review, expansion and editing.  Teambuilding, a project plan and project initiation strategies are the primary deliverables from a Project Kickoff Workshop.  The workshop itself requires one day, though break-out workshops with a core group are sometimes necessary for complex projects.  Lead time for information gathering and follow-up time for project plan development varies between one and three weeks.  The plan itself can be developed using and combination of word processing, spreadsheet and project scheduling applications.

  • The Project Kickoff Meeting's agenda will generally include the following, though these topics are subject to change depending on the needs of the project:
          • Review lessons learned from previous projects.
          • Build a statement of work
          • Determine the project's goals and objectives
          • Identify phases, milestones and deliverables
          • Establish roles and responsibilities
          • Schedule tasks, time and resources
          • Assess risks and create contingency plans

            And, optionally, for larger projects...
          • Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS)
          • Build a decision-making table
          • Estimating, budgeting and cost management planning

Project Kickoff Workshop Benefits

          • Build teamwork through collective planning
          • Establish a unified project vision
          • Clarify stakeholders' needs and concerns
          • Create the project's strategic plan and schedule
          • Assess project requirements
          • Foster open communications

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