Scheduling Your Project Kickoff Meeting
The I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed on all the paperwork. And, all the sales people have said thank you for the order. Now what? Having implemented hundreds and hundreds of projects over the years, Orion has found that scheduling a project kick off meeting with all the parties has improved the odds of a successful project implementation exponentially. Listed below are some tips and tricks to hosting a successful kickoff meeting.
- Appoint a Central Point of Contact – Whether this is an internal resource or a third party vendor, ensuring all information flows through this central contact person solidifies communication. This person should have a full knowledge of the entire project and be able to interpret how changes might impact the outcome.
- Include All Parties – These parties include your team, carrier contacts and third party vendors. Any person that could impact the end result should be engaged. This allows all the parties to understand the steps and timelines to ensure your project stays on time and on budget.
- Establish an Email String – What can often seem like a minimal change can have a significant outcome on a project. By including all of the parties accountable to the project, each person has an opportunity to review each potential change to provide input.
- Periodic Planning Meetings – It is often valuable to schedule periodic meetings where the group discusses pending events, potential challenges and revised timelines. Depending on the complexity of the project, these meetings could be hosted as often as weekly, especially as the project approaches completion.
- Assign Tasks – Every party will have their own individual project tasks, but a general explanation of who is accountable to the element completion can avoid finger pointing. Setting deadlines to the completion of each task is critical.
- Date Tracking – The central point of contact should be tracking respective dates as delays in any given step can create havoc. There are many individual completion dates to a project between contract signatures and expected project completion.
- Communication Expectations – Obtain a commitment from everyone that written communications will be the norm. Sometimes, a verbal communication is best to work through specific challenges, but a written follow up should be sent to confirm expectations. A recap of any planning meetings should be sent out to ensure all parties are on the same page.
Even the simplest of projects can have very complex elements, some that could impact your business should something go bump in the night. By hosting a project kickoff meeting early in the process, you can ensure all the critical parties are on the same page and have a common view of expectations. Of course, the only thing consistent in business is change. Should a project deviate from its original plan, having all the parties moving the same direction can amplify your opportunity for success.
Orion Project Management Services
Because the implementation of telecom services can often be the critical path to the end result, Orion has formulated a systematic project plan and support services to assist you reach your desired objectives. We are often called upon to provide assistance in this process including collecting and distributing critical information, maintaining timelines amongst the parties, and providing written documentation to ensure tasks are completed on-time. Even if you have an experienced internal staff, day to day business requirements can sometimes conflict with the proactive nature of managing a pending project.