Getting your project off on the right foot starts with a kickass kickoff meeting agenda. A good agenda makes you look smart, organised, and professional. Use this agenda structure based on how Atlassian manages projects to nail your next kickoff meeting.
Kickoff meeting agenda
Copy this into your email as an agenda and delete the text in italics. Your agenda is done.
- Introduction (5 mins)
- Project background (2 mins)
- Statement of work (5 mins) - (if client-facing) the proposed work for what the project will deliver
- Project scope (5 mins) - present and get consensus on key deliverables and exclusions
- Action plan & project timelines (5 minutes) - what is expected to be delivered (including deliverables) and by when
- Project Outcomes (5 mins) - define success and failure
- Role assignment (5 mins) - the main point of contact, who signs off deliverables, who’s responsible for specific functions
- Stakeholder Communication Plan (5 minutes): frequency of meetings, channel/platform for comms (eg. slack, teams)
- Next steps (2 mins)
What you need for a kickoff meeting:
- 40 - 60 minutes: enough time to agree on and confirm project details (important: create a written record (or transcription) of the agreed-upon talking points for future reference to keep the project on the course)
- Agenda: no agenda = no structure = chaotic meeting. Your agenda can also serve as a reference for the future about what was and wasn’t agreed upon
- A note-taker: you need everything discussed to be documented for reference during the project. Without this you will fall into a game of we said, they said. Ideally, you’d use a free transcription tool like Tactiq.io to transcribe the entire discussion in full.
Kickoff Meeting Agenda template
Introduction (5 mins): Names, roles, responsibilities in project
Project background (2 mins): What triggered this project? Be brief. A few sentences work best.
Statement of work (5 minutes): (if client-facing) In our project proposal, we’re stated to… (outline proposed work)
Project scope (5 minutes): What is included in our project scope. What isn’t included. Agree on the scope and record consensus for records.
Action plan and project timelines (5-10 minutes): The action steps. The deliverables. When they will be delivered. Confirm deliverables/timeline and record consensus for records.
Project outcomes (3 mins): What success looks like.
Role assignment (5 minutes): Who is responsible for each role in the project. Who will sign off on deliverables.
Stakeholder Communication Plan (5 minutes): What channels will we communicate on eg. slack, teams, dischord. How we will share progress eg. status report. What tools will we use eg Google docs, Miro, Asana, Dropbox. What tools we will need access to eg Hubspot, Google Analytics, Autocad. How often our project team will meet.
Next steps (2 mins): What happens in the week after this meeting.
Here’s the kickoff kicker - ensure you get agreement on each area verbally (ideally written or transcribed with Tactiq.io) before moving on. This gives you a reference for the future should disagreements about what was agreed upon come up and your team needs clarity as to what was and wasn’t part of the project. Basically, this will save you.
Questions you must have answered by the end of the meeting:
In your meeting agenda set up a list of questions you want to ask the team. Ideally, you should ask these questions at the minimum, plus any specific to your project. We’ve gone ahead and injected these questions into the agenda template for you. You’re welcome.
Also, ideally, you want to send these questions to stakeholders/participants ahead of time so they can respond and bring answers to the meeting (reducing time wasted in the meeting and keeping your kick-off streamlined to set the tone).
So we also included a single page at the end of the template you can send in your project kick-off meeting invite (send these questions in the meeting-invite email body so they don’t get overlooked/forgotten as an attached doc).
- Who will be the key points of contact?
- What is (in scope) and isn’t included (out of scope)?
- What is the preferred channel for communications?
- Who needs to be involved in each section of the project? (stakeholder mapping)
- Who will sign off on deliverables?
- What is the result/outcome agreed upon?
Other good kickoff meeting resources:
- Project kickoffs by Atlassian
- Kickoff meeting agenda mistakes by Atlassian
- Project kickoff meetings by Meeteor