It’s all kicking off

Starting a new project is exciting. The team is briefly the centre of attention, bringing a new hope to the organisation.

Unfortunately, many teams charge into action without laying strong foundations. However, a bit of planning at the start of a project significantly increases the team’s chance of success.

This is where a well-planned kick-off session comes in.

Of course, each kick-off is different. Sometimes the team has worked together before, sometimes it’s a newly formed team. Sometimes the client is new, sometimes they’re an existing client. Sometimes the Product Owner is internal, sometimes they’re from outside the organisation. Sometimes the goal is to create something brand new, sometimes it’s an enhancement. Sometimes it’s a product, sometimes it’s a service.

However, the desired outcomes from a kick-off are often similar:

  • The team to get to know each other a bit (rarely does everyone know everyone else on the team)
  • Confirmation of the team’s purpose
  • Background story of what has happened so far
  • Clarification of our initial goal or focus
  • Shared understanding of roles and responsibilities
  • Agreed ways of working for the team
  • The opportunity for the team to ask questions
  • Agreement on the first step(s) we are going to take

So I decided to create a template as a starting point. I then tailor it to each specific situation, deleting parts that aren’t relevant and adding extra bits in where needed.

Feel free to use my Google slide deck as a starting point for your own kick-off sessions. You’ll need to make a copy and then tailor it to your own circumstances.

Any suggestions for improvements are welcome. Please leave them in the comments section.

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