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Kicking Off the Project

Have a kick-off meeting. Consider it the opening ceremonies of your redesign project. Now bring everyone face to face into one stadium (a conference room will do) to announce the guidelines and goals to everybody involved. A kick-off meeting is a wonderful opportunity to open up the project to include everybody — both client and team key decision-makers — and officially start.

Be ready for this meeting; bring the Project Plan (which includes at least the following: project overview, schedule, deliverables and details and assumptions) and prepare a meeting agenda. Include these points in your kick-off meeting agenda and modify it to fit your project:

  • Introduction of the Project Plan. Introduce the project, client, and team; show Discovery items; go over Details and Assumptions; make sure everybody understands the project scope; distribute contact lists to both sides; go over roles and responsibilities of both the client and team; establish means of communication.
  • Overall site goals. Distribute the Communication Brief and go over it in detail.
  • Schedule and timing. Discuss the project calendar; make clear the relational importance of feedback and content delivery to the final launch date; establish and adjust the project calendar according to individual schedule conflicts; discuss known risks and Scope Creep issues.
  • Content. Who will provide content? How will the content schedule be worked out?
  • Next steps. Briefly describe what happens next and who will be in contact with whom, specifically for the immediate next steps: organizing the content and structuring the site.
  • Regular meetings. With all decision-makers in one place, pull out your calendars and establish a standing day and time that is amenable for the entire team. This scheduled meeting can be changed as necessary from week to week, but it helps to check in on a regular basis — at least weekly.

The kick-off meeting is where expectations are aligned and scope is established. Fill everybody in on the boundaries of scope. State that the next steps for the client include determining content, while the team will begin to structure the site.

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