Don’t Plan Project Kickoff Without Doing These 5 Things

For starters, what is a “Project” anyway? The accepted definition is that it is a time-bound endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. It has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.

Project Management is what it takes to ensure that the project is executed properly: knowledge, platforms, activities, people, and all that project requires.

In this blog of Project Management Series, we will focus on the first aspect of Project Management: What should the project manager do to plan and prepare for a great Project Kickoff.

The specific focus of the Project Planning and Initiation phase are:

  1. The Business Case
  2. Establish a Project Management Office
  3. Publish a well-articulated project charter
  4. Clearly scope the project and
  5. Identify the team

Business Case:

A business case is the starting point for any project. It is used to define the grounds for starting a project. It shows how the use of capital and other resources will support a business need and what the payoffs will be. A good business case envisions scenarios and anticipates risks. Technicals are not the focus at this stage.

What does a good business case example look like? Solid business cases are easy to understand, clear, logical, and relevant. These are grounded in reality and have assumptions and outcomes that are measurable. Further, good business cases delineate accountability and commitment to the work and costs. A few examples of Business Case Templates are:

View Business Case Templates

In short, a business case is intended to convince key decision-makers of the merits of a particular project. It is a key part of your project initiation process as the business case defines “Why” for the project.

Establish a Project Management Office:

A project management office is a group that defines and maintains standards for project and program management within the organization. This unit ensures that all the projects are run in a repeatable and standardized way. It focuses on scalability in the execution of projects. A few important tasks include ensuring the best project management practices and governance and accountability for the project teams. A few templates related to PMO and governance model are:

View PMO Templates

A Good PMO needs the right balance of skills and experience and they need to update themselves constantly. Their task is to build effective, capable teams through continuous technical training, coaching, and leadership development.

Publish a well-articulated Project Charter:

A project charter outlines the context, vision, goals of the project. In addition, it includes the scope, key assumptions, big risks, the structure, and notable milestones. Some people also like to add responsibilities for the project team and key stakeholders in the project charter.

The charter marks the point when the key highlights of the initiation stage are ready to be shared with a broader stakeholder group. Learn in detail how to build effective Project Charters. Here are a few Project Charter templates:

View Project Charter Templates

In essence, the more thorough a project charter is, the better reference it will become for the future. You can include the information which you find most beneficial for future reference. Check out more project charter examples.

Clearly scope the project:

The project scope is the part that involves defining a list of specific project goals, outcomes, activities, timelines, and ultimately costs. “Scope” is what is needed to deliver a project for it to be called successful. A few clean and succinct Project Scope templates:

View Project Scope Templates

Project Scope is needed in managing the expectations of clients and stakeholders. With a distinct scope, it helps everyone stay on the same page throughout the project's life cycle.

Identify the Team:

Any project requires a team to do the activities and take accountabilities. It is essential to define roles for each member to collaborate well. Reporting lines, leadership, structures, should be laid out as clearly as possible. Here is an example of Project Team Structure Templates:

View Project Team Templates

How do you make a great team? Listing skills and experience needed for each position, defining performance criteria, assigning proper responsibilities are great ways to set up a team for success. In short, Identifying the right Project Team is critical for Project success. The Project team should have clear, defined goals and should be motivated to achieve Project Objectives.

Skill Requirements:

To build an effective project team structure, it is important to identify the skills required in the project. Identifying team members with the right skills will ensure project success. Here are a few templates to help you articulate the project skill requirements.

View Project Skills Templates

Role Definition

Once you identify the team with the required skills, it is important to define the team members' roles and responsibilities that will make your team and project success. Clarify the expectations you have of each other so the whole project team can shine. Here are a few roles and responsibilities templates.

View Roles and Responsibilities Templates


Use RASCI Responsibility Matrix to assign and display the responsibilities of individuals in the project team. RASCI is an acronym from the initial letters of words:

  • RResponsible — who is responsible for carrying out the entrusted task?
  • AAccountable (also Approver) — who is responsible for the whole task and who is responsible for what has been done?
  • SSupport — who provides support during the implementation of the project task?
  • CConsulted — who can provide valuable advice or consultation for the task?
  • IInformed — who should be informed about the task progress or the decisions in the task?

View RASCI Templates

Performance Criteria

It is important to set up performance criteria for the team members to align the team’s expectations in terms of roles and responsibilities. Here a few templates to articulate them to the team.

View Performance Criteria Templates

Here is a Complete Project Kickoff Meeting Deck.

Also, If you are looking to build a Project Kickoff meeting presentation, We have a pre-designed presentation to help you impress your audience with your project planning skills —

This is a complete project kickoff presentation specially crafted to showcase your project planning and project design in your project kickoff meeting. It is a fully editable PowerPoint Presentation template. This project kickoff meeting presentation contains separate slides for almost every aspect of project planning so that you can present them effectively. It contains multiple slides to effectively showcase different phases of your project plan in the project kickoff meeting.
You can showcase the project timeline with milestones to achieve in the implementation process—separate slides for team structure, roles, and interaction roster showcase all the project aspects.

Here is a Complete Project Planning Presentation.

Project Planning Presentation

View Project Planning Presentations

This Project Planning Presentation showcases your Project Planning effectively as it includes every aspect of a Project Plan. It consists of the Project Scope template, Project Timeline template, and Team Structure Template so that you can create a detailed Project Planning Presentation.

Project Review Presentation

View Project Review Presentation

Now you don’t have to scour the web to find out the right templates. Download our PowerPoint templates from within PowerPoint. See how?

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Originally published at on May 31, 2020.

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