10 Steps to a Kickass Project Kickoff: A Checklist

Do you have a kickass project kickoff you are trying to start? These 10 tips will help you to accomplish a real kickass project kickoff. These tips not only apply to project managers but just about anyone tackling a project.

Whether it be for business or personal you can apply these tips to just about any project you may have.

kickass project kickoff

Kickass Project Kickoff – The 10 Step Checklist

  1. The first one is to have a vision and objective.
  2. Identify your team and set goals.
  3. Develop Initial Project Plan.
  4. Define how to measure success!
  5. Review and plan and look for risks.
  6. Establish logistics and communications.
  7. Choose your project work process.
  8. Decide which tools will be used to get the job done.
  9. Schedule your meeting.
  10. Finally, set the agenda and prepare handouts and/or slides.
Kickass Project Kickoff - Get The 10 Step Checklist Share on X

Have A Project Charter

As exhaustive as a project checklist is, there’s one thing that isn’t included in it; a project charter.

Typically, this is created at the start of a project and gives everything the go-ahead. The charter also authorizes managers and other personnel to use resources and complete the project according to guidelines.

That makes it quite important to have. It’s also one of the first things that you’ll have to work on. You’ll usually need to have the charter signed by management or another party, as these people will have the authority to give everything the go-ahead. It’s worth noting that a project manager shouldn’t play a role in putting a charter together.

Instead, it’s typically created by what’s known as a ‘project sponsor.’ That’ll be the person overseeing the overall project, even if they’re not actively involved in daily activities. If you’re the manager of a project, you might end up helping the sponsor create the charter, especially if they haven’t created one before.

When a project charter is being put together, several factors are mandatory. You should check for these before beginning any contract. Every charter should include:

  • Project Timeline;
  • Deliverables;
  • Budget;
  • Scope and Risks;
  • Stakeholders, and;
  • Roles and Responsibilities.

Some project charters can be much more detailed than others. The key to this is making sure that everything is clear and easy to understand. Everyone involved in the project will take their cues from this charter. A collaborative approach to putting it together may be best.

By having other peoples’ input, the project can be much better planned, which should help the project go more smoothly. If so, you may want to look into project management software for your team today.

Some project charters can be much more detailed than others. The key to this is making sure that everything is clear/easy to understand. #projectmanagement Share on X

How To Have Vision

To start any project you must know and understand what you need to accomplish. You really need to visualize this from the start to the end. You may not need all the details in between but being able to see what you need is key.

For instance, you could daydream about what you want to accomplish. Daydreaming helps with your visualization. Once you do that you are more apt to move forward and be able to find the steps along the way.

Visualizing can really help you achieve a goal.


Just be sure you don’t spend all day daydreaming which could hurt your productivity. 

'For instance, you could daydream what you want to accomplish. This helps with your visualization.' #projectmanagement Share on X

How To Set Your Goals and Identify a Team

To start with any project you must have an end in mind. Identify your goal. Keep each goal small leading up to the final goal.  This will make your goals more doable and achievable. Break them up into smaller goals.

Then find a team to help you achieve the goal each step of the way. Find team players who all want to accomplish the end goal just as much as you do. Be sure to have each team member’s contact info and know which way they prefer to be contacted.

Therefore, some people prefer phone calls and others text messages.

Developing Your Plan for Your Kickass Project Kickoff

Start with the first steps needed to reach your goal. Go through each of the steps and assign them out.

So, choose team members that will be the best fit for each of the steps you need to have done.

Measure Your Goals Along The Way

Measure each of your goals as you go toward the final bigger goal. If your measurements are not adding up, make adjustments along the way.

measure goals for your kickass project kickoff

Don’t be afraid to change gears if you need to! Many successful people and businesses have to be agile to change things up when needed. They don’t wait too long to make changes to get ahead. Those who hesitate get left in the dust behind.

Today changes are taking place at a faster speed than ever before.

Review Your Plan and Look for Risk

Does your plan pose risks? Can you live with the risks associated with them? If not – adjust them. If you can, proceed with caution and be prepared to deal with the risks.

Learn how to better handle the risks that may come along.

Establish the Logistics and Communications

By all means, be sure everyone is nearby to complete the projects you assign. Of course, if you can do it all online just be sure of their availability.

Be aware of team members in different time zones.

Choose Your Kickoff Project Process

The way you process your project is key to completing it successfully.

Be sure all team members are aware of the processes and how to get them done on time.

Use the Right Tools To Got Your Kickass Project Kickoff

Having the right tool is a must with any project you tackle today. Whether it be in business or at your home, the right tool can make all the difference. Having the right software can make a huge difference for a team project. 

But, be sure all team members know how to use the tools you offer to get the job done. This is a very important detail to make your kickass project kickoff go well.

'Having the right tool is a must with any project you tackle today. Whether it be in business or at your home, the right tool can make all the difference.' #projectmanagement Share on X

Get Your Meeting Scheduled

Send out a Google calendar invite to everyone that you want to attend your kickoff meeting. Be sure everyone is available on the same date and time.

Do this in advance so if some people on your team cannot make it you can change the date to accommodate everyone. The last thing you want is to have to re-schedule a meeting again and again!

Set Your Kickass Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda

Having an agenda ready in advance will keep you on topic and on time. Read the agenda and or slides prior so you know how much time you have to finish the meeting. Leave time in the end to answer questions, etc.

Finally, be prepared to lead the meeting from the start to the end. Be firm but friendly so others will engage throughout the meeting. For this reason, it will make the meeting fun and people will not dread coming to another meeting you may have for your project in the future.

Set the tone from the beginning of the meeting to keep them listening right to the end.

Infographic brought to you by Wrike project manager requirements


10 Steps to a Kickass Project Kickoff: A Checklist for Project Managers

How do you handle your projects today? I’d love to know more in the comments below on how you accomplish your goals for your projects today.

Lisa Sicard
  • Excellent read for project manager and for the student who are pursuing a career in Project management field.
    Every project is a learning experience. Failures alert us to not make the same errors again. Successes guide us to effectively navigate our current and future projects.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks and Welcome to Inspire to Thrive Lahiru. Yes, we learn the most when we fail. I am a big believer in that. Too many are afraid to try for fear of failure. Thanks for coming by and make it a great day!

  • Amit says:

    Hey Lisa,
    Very nice article and very helpful. I read your article first time and it is very interesting. Your infographic is too good and very helpful.
    Thanks for the article!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Amit, what step did you like the most of the 10? You are most welcome. Have a great day ahead!

  • Vision! It’s where all the good stuff starts Lisa 😉 I had a vision with my blog and brand. Also, for when I wrote for a project management blog for 2 months LOL. Then the dude pulled the blog, and I went in a different direction hahahaha….seriously though; if you’ve a vision, the team gets on board and you make clear decisions, weather storms and do all you need to do to get your project up and running, your team following you every step of the way.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, Thank you. Yes vision is key to getting anything done in life I believe. It can get you out of bed in the a.m. too to fulfill that vision. Excitement for it too helps! Oh no on your project. But I bet it freed you up too.
      Thanks for coming by on this one Ryan. Have an awesome day!

  • Elizabeta says:

    Hey Lisa,
    Very nice article and very helpful. I read your article first time and it is very interesting. Your infographic is too good and very helpful.
    Thanks for the article!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Elizabeta. Welcome to Inspire to Thrive. Do you use any kind of project software now? Thanks for coming by and have a wonderful rest of the day!

  • Cori Ramos says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for sharing these great project management tips with us. There is so much that goes into a project and the most important step for a successful kickoff is the planning phase. It’s important to know things who will do what and by when is crucial.

    I love the way the infographic breaks down their kickoff project tips.

    I’m not using a software for my projects. I have an assistant now so I write down my project, meet with her about it and what role she’ll play and follow up. But I think it would be easier to go digital now that I know what software I would use.

    Thanks for sharing! Hope you’re having a great week.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Cori, you are most welcome. You are right- there is a lot that goes into it. I think you could surely use the software to make it easier. It probably would save you some time too. This week is going by fast Cori. I appreciate your coming by and have enjoy the rest of your week there! Is it getting hot now?

  • Hello
    You have listed effective tips for project management and it will be very helpful for the marketers especially for newbie. A great strategy from the beginning will help us to achieve success and perform the project management effectively. You did a great job by writing this post and it covers all the necessary information about project management

    Indeed, I like all these tips from your side. And, thanks for the lovely infographic.

    Thanks for sharing. Will share this post on my social media accounts.

    Have a great day ahead.
    Praveen verma

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Praveen, Thank you. I love the infographic as well. It does make it easier to understand with them included in posts at times. Thanks for coming by and sharing with your network. I really appreciate that Praveen. Have a wonderful Wednesday there.

  • Paul Towers says:

    Simple, but effective. It’s crazy how many people skip over the basics when looking to get a project off the ground. But if you don’t build a solid foundation then getting the project completed on time and within budget is 10x harder

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Paul, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. Yes, you are right about people skipping over these basics to get things done. Building a solid foundation is the key to just about anything in life too. Thanks for coming by and have a great day Paul.

  • Hi Lisa,

    This project management resonates with me as a marketer. There are so many bits and pieces that go into a product launch. Everything you have written here I’ve done myself.
    I find that with marketing, it all starts with visualizing exactly what you want out of it. Otherwise it will go all willy nilly.
    Time is so important to acknowledge. Indeed, we can schedule things for months ahead and break it down to days…even hours. But we do have to allow ourselves time for things to go wrong. Technology is wonderful, but sometimes we have to either go on a new learning curve that takes time, or something goes hinky with the technology we are using.
    We have to take things in stride, and be ready for the date we have planned to put all our ducks in a row.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Donna, I’m glad to hear that 🙂
      I do love your point about things going wrong (especially with technology) and added in time for that to happen. That has happened to me more often than not! Just the other day my laptop died on my lunch hour 🙁 I had to add time to my evening to get everything done. Luckily it just needed a Windows update that I kept on delaying (my bad!).
      Thanks for your input on this one Donna and have a great week. I hope to make it up there this summer. It’s been a while.

  • Moss Clement says:

    Great tips, Lisa. You’ve written more on project management lately which is great for marketers to learn and identify the how to in project management. For me, the first thing I do is map out and set a plan or strategy for my project in regards to days, week, and month. This helps me be productive and have a deadline. After that, I make sure to review my established plan to see if there are areas that needed some adjustment. This plan is my framework for the work ahead. When that is done, I assign task to my team members, but if the project is a one-man thing, I go ahead and start working on it because I already have a framework that includes, posting, scheduling, etc.

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Moss. It’s part of a series 🙂
      I think having a deadline is key before getting started. Otherwise you may never get started!
      It’s great to also have a schedule and a calendar in black and white in front of you. I know that helps me along with my daily to do list.
      You are most welcome Moss. I appreciate you taking the time to come by on this one with your input. Have a great day Moss!

  • Akash Yadav says:

    Hello Lisa!
    Thanks for sharing this amazing article, it will be very helpful to me…
    Thanks again 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      You are most welcome Akash, what project are you working on now? Thanks for coming by and have a great day!

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