How can we launch project successfully?

Project Kickoff Checklist
and Guidelines
The purpose of this document is to provide each project leader with a simple checklist and
guidelines for planning and conducting a project kickoff meeting. This point-in-time meeting
signals the start of executing a project. While some planning has been done to this point, the
details of the project may not be perfect. This is OK. The team in place will continue adjusting
and driving out the level of detail required.
Project kickoffs can vary greatly in size of audience depending on the size and complexity of the
project. However, project kickoff meetings should generally follow the same communication
framework as outlined in this document.
As each project gets defined and approved for execution across the college, aligning many
people who may work on the project is critical for success. Projects are established to help
achieve a strategic or operational objective or result. The clear communication of the benefits of
the project across many project stakeholders is critical for success. This allows each person to
keep their “eye on the prize” through the project and through the uncertainty that arises for all
Kickoff is a comprehensive list of project stakeholders and participants that include project
sponsors, steering committee, subcommittee chairs, subcommittee members, project leaders,
core implementation team members, subject matter experts, and any other key “customer”
Typically, project kickoff meetings happen when enough planning has been done by project
leaders in order to provide attendees enough meaningful background and direction on the
project. There is some judgment here regarding timing. Kickoff meetings should be an hour.
Kickoff meetings should follow a similar framework of topics listed below including:
Welcome and introductions
Goals of the kickoff meeting
Significance and importance of the project (include comments from sponsors)
Project Overview (including goals, objectives and milestones)
Review progress to Date
Project Organization and Roles
Work Plan Overview
Project Management and Communication Processes
Next Steps
Questions and Answers
Delivery Method
Creation of a professional looking kickoff PowerPoint deck is important not only to communicate
well to the kickoff audience but also to provide a good reference document for project
participants going forward. Kickoff attendees may need to refresh themselves of the key points
after the kickoff. A lot of information will be presented in a short time span. Sample kickoff
PowerPoint decks are available for projects such as Switch to Semesters, Reaffirmation of
Accreditation and Student Success & Attainment.