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Topics: Communications Management, PMO, Teams
Looking for recommendation to better prepare for a project start up meeting.
Am a project manager that have initiated quite a project Start Up meeting. However, I always find it a trouble and hassle to draw out the framework for all relevant discussion, be it during scope discussion or risk identification / analysis discussion.

1) Do you face similar problem?
2) What will you recommend me to do to optimize my PSUs
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The key thing is to perform project stakeholder managment activities at the very begining. In fact, those activities must be done before the project exists which is usually done by the BRM/Business Analyst role. That´s will say you how to planning the meeting. About to deal the discussion that´s up to you as project manager. You must stay in control. You must respecfully stop any comment or discussion that will deviate from your objective. The starup meeting is your meeting. The project is owned by your stakeholder but not the startup meeting. Then, that is because is critical to plan the meeting as you plan any other thing starting for the vision and the objective.
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1 reply by Shao Yong Tan
Jan 21, 2020 6:26 AM
Shao Yong Tan
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Thank you for the advice on optimizing the project start up meeting. Perhaps more of an logistical problem i face is that the project start up are always plagued with A3 size paper and un readable post it notes.

Just wondering how do you conduct your start up meetings and what are the physical tools and materials that can help optimize this aspect?
Dear Shao
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

Know the project very well.
Get ready!

Sale! Sell the project to your team! Sell the project to the other stakeholders!
Jan 21, 2020 6:05 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
The key thing is to perform project stakeholder managment activities at the very begining. In fact, those activities must be done before the project exists which is usually done by the BRM/Business Analyst role. That´s will say you how to planning the meeting. About to deal the discussion that´s up to you as project manager. You must stay in control. You must respecfully stop any comment or discussion that will deviate from your objective. The starup meeting is your meeting. The project is owned by your stakeholder but not the startup meeting. Then, that is because is critical to plan the meeting as you plan any other thing starting for the vision and the objective.
Thank you for the advice on optimizing the project start up meeting. Perhaps more of an logistical problem i face is that the project start up are always plagued with A3 size paper and un readable post it notes.

Just wondering how do you conduct your start up meetings and what are the physical tools and materials that can help optimize this aspect?
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jan 21, 2020 7:56 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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In my case, what you stated, is part of the logistic. You must be in control of the startup meeting. Then, what I do, is create a presentation that shows the answer to the main five questions: why (strategic reason)? what (product requirements, what it was created by the project)? when (timeline, not schedule)? who (involved people and their responsabilities on the project)) how (project dynamic, life cycle, scalation points, meetings dynamic)? how much it cost. From long time ago I am working in highly distributed virtual teams so it is not face to face except you can consider it because we use the notebook camara. But the key point here is: which is your objective? In my case, the objective is "talk now or shut up forever" while it does not mean I will allow people to take control of the meeting and debate. Obviouly we made a previous work with all people we need to engage. I meant, is not a surprise for them they will be needed to create the solution.
Shao -

The most critical aspect of a start up meeting is to gain shared understanding and alignment towards the project's vision/purpose/objectives. As such, materials are of less concern than the discussion itself and getting commitment from key stakeholders.

The focus should be on making sure the right (and no more) stakeholders are present and that appropriate facilitation techniques are used to achieve the alignment and shared understanding goals.

Kiron
Jan 21, 2020 6:26 AM
Replying to Shao Yong Tan
...
Thank you for the advice on optimizing the project start up meeting. Perhaps more of an logistical problem i face is that the project start up are always plagued with A3 size paper and un readable post it notes.

Just wondering how do you conduct your start up meetings and what are the physical tools and materials that can help optimize this aspect?
In my case, what you stated, is part of the logistic. You must be in control of the startup meeting. Then, what I do, is create a presentation that shows the answer to the main five questions: why (strategic reason)? what (product requirements, what it was created by the project)? when (timeline, not schedule)? who (involved people and their responsabilities on the project)) how (project dynamic, life cycle, scalation points, meetings dynamic)? how much it cost. From long time ago I am working in highly distributed virtual teams so it is not face to face except you can consider it because we use the notebook camara. But the key point here is: which is your objective? In my case, the objective is "talk now or shut up forever" while it does not mean I will allow people to take control of the meeting and debate. Obviouly we made a previous work with all people we need to engage. I meant, is not a surprise for them they will be needed to create the solution.
...
1 reply by Shao Yong Tan
Jan 21, 2020 9:56 AM
Shao Yong Tan
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thank you for this insight, this is helpful!
Kiron and Sergio made good points.
I agree with both Kiron and Sergio. When I can, I also visualize the end-product by creating a workflow of the new customer journey or user experience.
Jan 21, 2020 7:56 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
In my case, what you stated, is part of the logistic. You must be in control of the startup meeting. Then, what I do, is create a presentation that shows the answer to the main five questions: why (strategic reason)? what (product requirements, what it was created by the project)? when (timeline, not schedule)? who (involved people and their responsabilities on the project)) how (project dynamic, life cycle, scalation points, meetings dynamic)? how much it cost. From long time ago I am working in highly distributed virtual teams so it is not face to face except you can consider it because we use the notebook camara. But the key point here is: which is your objective? In my case, the objective is "talk now or shut up forever" while it does not mean I will allow people to take control of the meeting and debate. Obviouly we made a previous work with all people we need to engage. I meant, is not a surprise for them they will be needed to create the solution.
thank you for this insight, this is helpful!
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1 reply by Scott Theus
Jan 21, 2020 11:38 AM
Scott Theus
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When you say ""talk now or shut up forever" what do you mean, exactly? Does it then follow that if something is not in the SOW, not in the Project Charter, and not discussed in the kick-off then it is excluded from the project until the next project?
Hi Shao,
Thank you for your question! I recently listened to the following podcast on successful meetings, and it includes excellent insights. I hope you enjoy:

https://www.entreleadership.com/blog/podca...-hyatt-meetings
Atlassian has published their team playbook online at https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook, there are several plays and game plans for building teams, running meetings, etc. I've used a number of them to write my own plays tailored to my organization.

For a project kick-off meeting I suggest starting here: https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook/plays/it-project-kick-off

This should cover everything you'll need to discuss in the kick-off, you can add or remove items that don't fit.
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