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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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Jan 21, 2020 9:56 AM
Replying to Shao Yong Tan
...
thank you for this insight, this is helpful!
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?
What is the Project Startup ? What is the objective ?
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Project startup is all about setting the scene . It's NOT about discussing the detail of the deliverable. As a PM , you have not completed the planning , developed a schedule or done a PMP at this early stage. You have just been authorized to run a project , given a signed off Business Case or Charter by your sponsor.

Project Startup should provide an overview of the project , introduction to the key stakeholders including the sponsor, an outline of the scope , brief idea on the timelines and an outline of the delivery method - e.g Waterfall or Agile , if known at that stage.

It can also provide an outline of the team structure , even if it only has the PM , BA and a Technical Subject Matter expert or an Architect , It could give an outline of whether the product is being purchased off the shelf or Built in-house (again , only if known at this stage)

This Startup (aka Kick off ) is to give the stakeholders an understanding and early engagement about their specific work areas being impacted by your new project and that you will be requiring their support and resources over the next few months to help deliver your project.

This is also your opportunity to outline the "Perceived and High Level " benefits (unless you are running a headcount reduction initiative - I wouldn't be so keen to highlight that to the stakeholders in the kick off meeting ) of your project to your key stakeholders.


You could let your Business Analyst or an independent facilitator run the kick off meeting with you providing the project inputs , observing and taking notes wherever possible , to maximize the benefit from this meeting. You can also be the gate-keeper trying to minimize conflicts and bringing the room back to the agenda that you have chosen for the meeting .

At the start of the meeting , make sure you set a few ground rules - 1) Take phone calls outside meeting room
2) Do not use laptops or work unless taking meeting specific notes
3) Do not speak over another person or interrupt
4) Keep a parking lot for anything that has to be taken offline.

You can have a RAID chart (Risks , Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies). You can have your project coordinator (if there is one) or your Business Analyst to note down RAID and the Parking Lot or you can do it if you have an independent facilitator running the kick off meeting.

The Independent Facilitator could come from your Project Management Office (PMO).

Keep separate meetings for Scope Discussions (you may need a series of workshops to work out scope ) .

Definitely keep separate meetings for Risk Identification and Elaboration.

Keep the Startup focused on Kick Off / Overview/High Level .
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